What Humans Can Do — Just for Your Pleasure

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Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 2:08 am  Comments (1,030)  

1,030 Comments

  1. I’m commenting first on this to see if my gravitron appears as it’s been changed. It’s right on the front page and nowhere else, which is so stupid and bogus I can’t even figure it out. Again, not an actual emergency.

  2. NOPE. This stupid crapo picture.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE. BUYING THE SONG NOW ON ITUNES. XO SFC

  4. Cirque du Bicyclettes! — I see your new gravitron. Isn’t that you at the Duke?

  5. Is anyone still up?

    (From the last post)
    First of all, those Oreo bon-bons are the manifestation of delicious itself. I believe that the bulge on my right hip is directly attributable to the 42 Oreo bon-bons I ate in Durham, before and while I got drunk.

    (From the new post)
    Second, that bicycle video is awesome – I’ll have to make some videos of Elliot parkour-ing around the farm. That robot video was also really joyous. Thanks, Clouds. When the news shows all the bad going on, over and over, it’s good to remember how many people out there are truly kind.

    I awoke this morning, did a quick cranium check, and shouted “I don’t have a headache!” AND it’s supposed to be in the 80s here all weekend. I DO wish my insurance policy covered voluntary hysterectomies.

    Confession: I listen to exclusively Iodine in my car, which I am in a LOT. (I moved that adverb three times to get it in the appropriate spot). I realized yesterday that it’s because I am starving for intelligent conversation (I get that with Andy, but I mean another woman), so I let Haven talk at me in the car, and then I think Iodine thoughts at Sher (Sher, I just ordered Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love CD)

    I was THRILLED that John Elder commented on my blog (well, I asked him to take a peek)

    I am going to cast this comment out and see if anyone is about. Tex-a-Mex-a-Love-Child?

  6. Haven – I see your new gravitron
    Sher – You showed up as Pippi on my blog.

  7. Hey 80s people. Is this not the song for Molly Bug?

    This would also do:

  8. Brothers and sisters, say AMEN!

  9. I CAN’T SEE THE VIDEO AT SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NOW I HAVE TO GO ALL DAY AND WAAAAAAH WAAAAAH. lol.

    I am so going straight home after school to see videos and click links and bask in blogbaby love.

  10. Maureen,
    I completely understand the notion of listening to Haven equaling an intelligent conversation…
    The weather is so flippin beautiful!! I am headed to Indiana tonight to relax at the lake, go for a boat ride, and meet with the cake lady ( and taste samples, yummo) and the florist to make more wedding decisions.
    Is there anything better than wedding cake I ask you?

  11. Amy- what is the date of your wedding?

  12. Molly –
    So you don’t pee your pants in anticipation, it is The Jets singing “You Got It All Over Him” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You”
    Ask anyone in their 40s and they can probably sing you both.

  13. I don’t know The Jets. I guess I am more of a 70s “gal”

  14. What ever happened to good old fashioned crushes? I remember these songs. Now they seem so out of place because everyone in the video is fully clothed.

    I LOVED the bike video. I’m like Susanne, I want that song! And every time I watch something like this, I’m amazed at the different things they are able to do, but mostly I’m thinking about how many times they had to fall and completely fail. And then they had to get back up and try it again, because it’s the only way to ever conquer it.

    As a side note, I cannot watch the videos in which they fall. Nope, not anymore.

  15. As a graduate of Carolina Crapo Memorial Elementary School (since renovated into Town Offices), I have to say that I see no Crapo picture.

    ~ S.

  16. Linda~My wedding is September 12th!
    “Honey it’s true, there’s just you. You must have been heaven sent , hearing me call you, went out on a limmmmmmbbbbb, and you’re all that he’s not, just look what I got…cuz you got it allllll, over him.”
    Nice right Mo??? ALL FROM MEMORY PEOPLE!!!

  17. That song unleashed a sweet memory for me, which I wrote about earlier this morning. Thanks for sending in, Maureen.

    …and thanks, Haven, for that bike ride.

    Lord, that kid is amazing…what impresses me is for him to be able to do that requires much more than balance, but blends of guts, creativity, strength and an understanding of where he is in each split second.

  18. Suzanne: I think that at the moment you posted above, I was reading sections of Split.

  19. I’m so glad this showed up. The baby got me up in the dead of night and I found it, then posted it all by myself. I no longer have a webmaster, so it’s going to be ROUGH going for a while here. This is a very good sign.

    Song is GREAT — that was part of what I loved best.

    xoxo

  20. OH! And you’ll all be pleased to know that Susan Boyle now has a near hairstyle, a complete and very thorough dye-job, and is wearing designer clothes. I’m banking on new boobies and a face-transplant aaaany minute now. Because we’re PURE! PURE, I tell you!

  21. Whoa there, Haven– working without a web net, are we?

    Given your success with the avatars, it should be smooth sailing.

    ~ S.

  22. No longer have a webmaster?

    ::::Dee raising hand. I’m available. ;)

  23. What, NO WEBMASTER!!!!! Now that sux, really sux!

  24. Oh I’m so glad I didn’t mention it first. Yes, Miss Susan seems to be quite comfortable in her new jacket and Burberry scarf…

  25. I wish nothing but the best for Miss Boyle…she sounds like she has sacrificed her entire life for others and she deserves a little praise. The woman can sing beautifully. I am cheesed off at the assholes and idiots who somehow equate beauty with talent (I know I don’t…I am ALWAYS SURPRISED when an attractive person is also talented.) I just hope she can keep her head clear and not go all Roseanne Barr.

    Those songs from the Jets take me back to the days of CHARM NECKLACES! I had a roller skate and sunglasses with a playboy bunny! Don’t tell Mom! I used to make a girl named Erin sing “I’ve Got a Crush on You” in the lunch line.

    Going to watch Havenly’s video now.

  26. I have never ridden a bike two feet, much less what those lads are doing. Kudos to them!

  27. Jarvis was HORRIFIED by the bike video. “MOMMY. That’s DANGEROUS!”

  28. he can do that and I can’t lose 2 pounds?! definitely inspiring. loved the song…and speaking of music…I’M GOING TO SEE DAVE TONIGHT!!! WAHOOO! (dave matthews band w/ Avett Brothers) yep…sooo happy.

  29. oh what a cute little martian-dragon thingy. sweet.

  30. i immediately bought the song on the video AND THE CD “CEASE TO BEGIN”, which is amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

  31. Dee, honestly? Can I ask your advice about wordpress? There are some thing I can do very adeptly, and some things that make me drool on my clothes. I’d send you presents. Well, I’d have John send you presents.

    Like this: How do I make the title a different color and font size? I got the font larger but doth the color reside? Between this community I swear we could function as Doctors Without Borders.

    I sent the video for EXACTLY your reason Kimbitsums. I watched it and thought — “Look at that confidence. Look at his single-minded determination. LISTEN TO THAT AWESOME SONG.”

    Susan Boyle can be anything she wants to be, just as she has always been, all of her sweet, normal, kind-hearted, talented life. And now she can get devoured by sharks with seventeen set of teeth in the process. I pray for her, I honestly do, even though I wish I had that jacket.

  32. (Maureen!) Impressive you heard from John Elder. I just love him. He really has a true gift. I bought and read his book Don’t look me in the eye, and passed it along to my mother and sister. It can’t be a coincidence that John Elder’s mother and my mother are from the same town and I have a sister and neice that definately have asperger’s.
    —by the way loved the bike video and feel sad my god given talent isn’t as cool or as entertaining as that guys.

  33. Haven, I’m happy to help as well. As you may know, I am in the process of making a website for my best Vicki and her creations.

    Boys on bikes. Yikes. How do they keep from becoming sterile? A friend has a son who has traveled the world on a skateboard. He used a plane to get over the watery bits, but what a life he’s had from 4 wheels and a board. Sadly, those boys treasure their worst accidents and so have put them all together in a reel. I’ve been able to watch it. Once.

  34. I am bad….blogging when I shoulds’t be cleaning . . .

    however,

    I love the bike video. it should be an olympic sport. wow. song – wow.

    kimbits – I’m waving madly!!!! You’ll enjoy Dave, he does a great live show and his musicians are chosen with care not just for their talent, but for their inner light . . . . and he can move his shoes!

    where is pippi here . . . somebody knows the magic button, but not me!

  35. Haven, it depends on which template you’re using whether you can change your fonts or not.

    However, something I could do is install the actual wordpress software onto your web-server and redo the php code to match your website.

    First things first though, letem go check out your template and see if the header fonts can be changed.

  36. Have, I changed one of my blog themes to this one and you cannot change your fonts unless you pay for the CSS upgrade.

  37. I love the video mucho mucho gracias and also I want the song, too!! But all the way through, I kept thinking:

    ‘HIS POOR MOTHER MUST BE WORRIED OUT OF HER MIND!’

    I now realize I was an extremely overprotective parent. (wildly waving my hands in front of my face in panic) Heavens, I have the vapors.
    (thanks for finding the cd Suzanne…I need me one of those.)

  38. Kim- son, Sam, is going to the DMB concert tomorrow night here in Nashville. It is the first concert being held at Vanderbilt’s football stadium since Pink Floyd played there about 10 years ago. Robert Earl Keen is opening for him at 6:00 which means no one will be there to see him. I love Robert Earl Keen. Jason Maraz (sp?) is next up so all the girls will be in by that time to see him. Sam is so pysched as he is a huge fan of Dave’s. Sam and his cross country buds sing his songs when they run miles and miles.

  39. Please, those who know me best, go back to Cranky post and read the question I just posted before I lose the remainder of my mind.

  40. Dee, what you said sounded like, “Beep boop beepity boop blunderbuss beep.”

  41. Haven,
    this may help

    http://carolynecooper.com/news/beginners-guide-to-wordpress-27

    also, so funny, my husband posted this video on his website today. Kismet!

  42. ROTLMAO! WordPress makes you pay a fee to be able to change the CSS code. The CSS is the code that controls things like fonts, colors, backgrounds, and such.

    Here’s the blog I installed into my website. I edited the CSS/PHP to look more like my website.

    http://particlesofspirit.net/blog/

  43. Haven- I read the question. Actually you asked two and sorry, but I don’t know what Caryl craves. Probably nothing because she is practically perfect in every way and just doing wonderful things for people is her own joy.

    Now as for your “friend” and her comment. Please just wad that letter up into a ball and either set it on fire or flush it down the toilet. Fire might be better as you would not want to clog up the toilet. I have never known anyone to love and adore her family as much as you. You are funny. You make jokes. That is what funny people do. She just does not get humor apparently. Geez. Some people. You, my dear Haven, are the most wonderfully generous person and that extends to you sharing your love and adoration for your entire family.

  44. I can’t read or even comprehend anything I’m attempting to read from sobbing. My sweet little Gus, if he knew such a thing had been said, my god.

  45. Haven, I know I am not one of the ones who knows you best. BUT.

    Your trusted friend is…a jerk.

    I’m sorry. I know I should NOT be judgemental, but one of the things Amber and I dissected on the way home was how sweet the John/Haven interaction was Wednesday night. You sat very close together and looked snuggly and cute, and you did indeed tell me that you felt even being OUT with John was boasting because he was so perfect.

    The FIRST thing I told my mother about the reading was precisely this:

    “Mama, Haven was giving AB a lovely intro when her baby, named after AB, shouted out, “Hey, Mama!” (or the like) and she stopped what she was saying and said hey back and waved and it was so cute and so real and she so obviously loves her family.”

    You have never said one even remotely unkind thing about your family.

    It seems to me that some people like to wound just for the sake of wounding and this person knows that, for some reason, you worry deeply (is there Virgo in your chart?) about whether or not you love your family enough.

    Carrie is right. If John and Kat are shrugging it off…your daughter was with you well before John. If anyone would call “bullshit,” I’m sure she would.

    Also–that line about no one around you can serve you well enough? Well **shuffles feet** um, anyone one of us would strip naked (or some other equally embarrassing thing) and do a dance if you just but asked. That’s just how much we love you. That’s how much you’ve touched our lives. And I believe I just sent you an email a day or two ago confirming that. :) So chin up, Haven. Your friend needs a drink. Or a Xanax. Or both.

  46. No one says it better than Molly. There you go.

  47. Thank you, Kate.

    If I could add one thing to my above post, it would be this:

    Haven, your books gave me hope when I had none. Someone who was not herself a Lure to Truth, Beauty, and Goodness wouldn’t be capable of bringing about such a thing.

  48. Ok, I know that I’m fairly brand spanking new here, but I think that this friend is ridiculous.

    Haven, you are one of the most selfless people of whom I have ever known. And I think that because you are that way, others want to do things for you, just to be around you. That’s how it seems to me.

  49. Haven, as a True Fan of Johnny Cash, you have probably heard this song before. But it is too wonderful not to share.

  50. I need the blog babies help. I’m in crisis at Mayo Clinic right now. Its 8:45 pm and hubby has been asleep from stress for over and hour. I need kind words and common sense help. Please read my blog post and get back to me. I need help from anyone who knows a Neurologist who works @ Mayo STAT!!!

    http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/ive-come-undone-at-the-mayo-clinic/

    Thank you, thank you. MY college BFF is not answering her phone. (She’s an infant mental health specialist, but can talk any crazy person down.) I need help asap.

  51. I cry everytime I watch that video. Seriously.

  52. Hello Haven and Blog Babies. I have lurked here for some time but am shy and have recently been in “Mayday, Mayday, Woman Down” mode, which doesn’t provide very good fodder for a good introduction. I have also never subscribed to anything like this in my life and feel odd about doing so. However, I am undoubtedly one of you, down to Little House and Anne of Green Gables and Johnny Cash and the like. The more I check in to see what you’re doing, the more I’m convinced that there’s nothing left but to accept this odd affiliation of wonderful souls and insert myself accordingly.

    Am writing tonight because I finally have something to offer. Read this in the New York Times and thought, “Oh, Haven and the Blog Babies will like this.” So here it is…

    http://kalman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/may-it-please-the-court/?em

    I especially like the reader’s comment to the author wherein he states that if the author were his neighbor, he’d weed her garden for free.

    It is nice to meet you.

  53. Ok, I wrote two comments on here an hour ago and neither showed. I hope nothing weird is going on w/my wireless network.

    I’m frustrated and stressed here at Mayo. After reading what Haven is dealing with, I feel even worse.

    If you would like to hear the whole jacked up story, come to my blog. Its like 3,000 words so I’m not saying the whole thing here.

    http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/ive-come-undone-at-the-mayo-clinic/

  54. Hi Jenny! Glad to make your acquaintance!

  55. Jenny, that is the most excellent link I’ve seen all day, since the bicycle one anyway. Thanks for sharing. and WELCOME out of lurk!

  56. Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! You’ve all given me so many funny and wonderful things to think about that it’s nice to have something to reciprocate.

    I so look forward to knowing you all.

  57. Jenny, you have the most awesome avatar.

  58. Jenny,

    You are most welcome here in this special place and thanks so much for the gift link. I am not sure, but I think the same author covered the Inauguration in a similar fashion. Just wonderful!

  59. Jenny, thank you.

    Welcome home.

  60. Welcome, Jenny!

  61. God help me, I’m afeared. There is a wild animal making claw/nibbling sounds right behind the sheetrock wall of my bedroom. While I’m not AS phobic about four legged animals with long tails and teeth as I am about spiders – I’m still not pleased.
    Also, my kitten Lily (who is a mad huntress) is going to spend the entire night awake, staring at said corner, poised for action, just waiting for it to pop out so she can break its little neck and plop it on my pillow as a gift.
    Crap.

  62. Yippee – a newly outed lurker!!! 3 Kudos for Jenny!

    J is for Juicy Fruit Gum.
    E is for Easy Bake Ovens
    N is for Nike
    N is for Nestle Quik
    Y is for Y not – — Jenny!

  63. just lost my comment regarding this situation….it might be a good thing because I am going
    berserk, in the scottish highlands way.

  64. Ok.

    Haven – the answer to the question is

    NO.

    You are not that person ‘she’ described.

    ‘she’ is not your friend. if ‘she’ ever was, she is no longer the definition of a friend.

    she is FOE.

    I want to kick some ass and beat her to a pulp. this is poison. poison to you and your family. that is enough.

    sorry doesn’t cut it.

    this might be too close to home for me, because I know how this feels . . . and I have never cried the river of tears as I did the day my ‘person’ defiled me by saying I should leave my husband and kids, that I was a bad mother and wife. I was accused of tearing apart an entire family, this generation and the last and the future.

    It is bullshit. I smells to high heaven, don’t fall for it.

  65. um, correction, I intended to say

    “IT smells to high heaven” not “I smells to high heaven” . . . I just took a bath, so I know I do NOT smell to high heaven . . .

  66. You can drop and break something in a minute. It may take hours or days to repair it. And no matter how great that “super glue” may be, it is never, exactly the same as it was before. And people usually take even more time to heal than things.

  67. I didn’t want to say anything on the blog but yes…this is incredibly disturbing. Frightening. If it happened to me I would do EXACTLY what Haven is doing. I would cry and cry for days. I would not stop dissecting it in my mind for one second. I would constantly be on the verge of vomiting. Why would someone make such an accusation? Especially in such an insane, crucial time in her life? Haven has deadlines we cannot conceive of on top of the normal life responsibilities of marriage and family, which can be enough to make anyone crack. Anyone who has been near her for two seconds KNOWS how she praises John as thoroughly as a person can before falling into idol worship, her love for Gus is as sunny and tender as a mother’s love can be, how she is by nature a hermit, a recluse but yet she opened her life, her home, her BARN to all of us who visited (one cannot underestimate the crucial-ness of this.)Her heart is as open as it can possibly be, and by rights she should be able to close it to us, but she chose not to. The more she loves, the more she is loved, and I don’t believe for one second that her family gets the scraps. No way.

    Haven, take heart my dear. You are not like Frankenstein in this group. You are UNDERSTOOD.

  68. This from a November posting . . . regarding my previous situation . . .

    “Somehow, while being attacked repeatedly I knew that I was undergoing one of the biggest ‘tests’ of my life. Testing my own soul and that my reaction to the accusations would be my best witness.

    While conversing, I remained deadly calm. But out of face-to-face I was on a crying jag for months. This is no joke or exaggeration.

    I was accused of every foul thing in the world. I did not recognize me in this person’s descriptions. I knew it was not so. So I held onto that and I was completely prepared to cut off the relationship, but left the “ball” or “sword” in said person’s court.
    I never lobbed one back.

    After months I got an apology. To this day I know that it was all about what was stirred up in that person’s life and nothing that I was exhibiting. In the end it was pure projection.

    It damaged the relationship, but I have gained a lot of respect from the individual because I did not get down in the mud with them.

    Maintain your honesty and your dignity. But do not lower your standards. That is conflicting advise, but I mean it that way.

    If it is ultimately abusive, then you have the right to cut it off, at least temporarily. It is impossible to have a rational conversation with an irrational being.”

    this is why I am in time warp . . . been there, done that and it still tears my heart to shreds to this day.

    This past week I worked on the “EAT YOUR WORDS” installation – it is the one where I take the mean emails, print them on colored paper, shred them and collage them onto play ‘food’ so that the ACCUSER can “EAT [their] words”

    It has been almost 2 years, and I still cry about it.

  69. Also – you guilty ass – you are probably stalking HAVEN right now – here, on this very blog.

    Guess what – Haven may be hurt right now, but

    WE

    can see right through to your evil heart. You are self-serving. You should be ashamed of yourself. Get your own life and leave Haven alone.

    Perhaps you need to re-learn a few rules of civilized society:

    1. IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

    2. MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX

  70. Sher. I love you.

  71. Hugs and Italian wine for Sher, methinks.

  72. some people need to reverse the size of their mouths and their assholes, so the majority of the shit comes out the right end.

    it seemed apropos of ….something!

  73. I am trying to clean . . . but I ‘got my panties in a wad’ over this one!

    I almost know how Don felt win this same thing happened to me. I thought he would kill this said person. Wow – wanting to defend a loved one is a powerful thing, and a helpless thing.

  74. ok….I have a party in 12 hours and haven’t slept in . . . forever….

    you all beat this idiot’s ass for me ok, I will be taking a leave of absence for hosting, but send them to Nashville and Linda and I can work on kickboxing practice.

    Which is a very immature attitude I know . . .

    night night, or morning, or whatever it is, wherever you are!

    Kittery – I hope the living beings have settled down in your walls . . . yikes, heebie jeebies on that one . . . reminds me of the mice that used to run through the heat vents all along the floor/wall of the trailers . . . their nails on the metal and wood . . . then i would open a drawer and there would be a dead mouse . . . and they would be left there for months . . .

  75. Jenny, welcome — and please come back and visit often — we all need each other in a crazy mean-o world like this one. Also, I love the name Jenny. But that’s rather beside the point. You have great taste in music and reading, and that’s as much what this blog about as anything else. Kindness and JOHNNY CASH, and then some other stuff also good but mostly JOHNNY CASH.

    JOIN AND SIN FREELY!

    xoxox

  76. Welcome Jenny! My fabulous mentalist’s name is Jenny so you are like a friend already :)

    Sher- I have been talking about how cool and awesome you are to my family for months – and of course you have met Sam and he thinks you rock too. So, this morning I told Phil I was going over to your house tonight for a little gathering you are having. He paused and then said, “who is Sher? I have never heard of her before.” I said, “the beautiful encaustic she gave me in Durham is hanging in the hall.”

    Have I ever mentioned before that I don’t think my husband hears a single thing I say? Needless to say, I did not invite him to join me tonight. I am in desperate need of some time out of the house.

    Good morning, Haven dear!

    Kittery- did the pest in the wall go away?

    Amy Gigi- How are you? I am sorry I was not here last night for you.

  77. Jenny…
    I said all those same things when I first posted here, and my close friends are still agog that I burst out of my introverted home bound bubble to take part in this extravaganza of openess and sharing with Total Strangers. Jaws were dropped when they heard I was going to actually show up to meet these people In Person.

    My big secret is that I cried on the way to the Washington Duke Inn, socially stressed and talked through the one mile from my house to the Inn by my loving daughter…It was SO worth it, and now, even though I am still Some insecure whenever I open my mouth to speak here, it just gets easier and better.

  78. Sherrill NoraB – you should not be stressed about talking here because you are a dear sweet soul and we all love you. So, talk away girlfriend!

  79. Haven…

    Is this (former) friend of yours a local person?
    Given the ties and webs that bind people here in Durham, I am wondering if I could possibly know or know of this bad example of humankind.

    Not to be too mysterious, I do know a woman here in Durham who is entirely capable of this kind of behavior. She was at your reading at the Regulator for Couch, the one where Margaret Sartor and I joked around with you about daycare for your unhatched chick…You mentioned her first name somewhere in your talk,(“my friend _____”) and I have always hoped that is wasn’t actually her you were referring to.

  80. Linda…All teared up here now reading your kind words…and best of all I BELIEVE you!

  81. NoraB – I’m so glad you came to meet everyone. You were so welcoming to us and helped us in every way you could so that we could see the lemurs! Your daughter was just fabulous to support you that way and give you encouragement. Sometimes we need a little push (I always need more than a little push).

    My own social anxiety manifests in weird ways. I talk on the phone all day as part of my job, so when I get home, no phones for me. I refuse to be the one to order pizza. Ever.

    The only reason I was able to show my face is because I had Molly with me. She must have been exhausted from sticking so close. I have to be in someone’s company for awhile first, before I’m comfortable. I hope we all get to see each other again soon!

    Hello Jenny! I love how you just came running up to the front! I wish I had the nerve to do that way back in the beginning, but I was too scared! Now that I’ve met everyone, that just seems silly. Oh, and I loved the link!

  82. I just realized that my icon is no longer purple. :-( I actually added a picture of myself, but it seems like an infamous problem now that pics don’t show up.

  83. GFTG/Amy…

    I am feeling so bad for your plight…I do know a woman at the Mayo Clinic (actually she is a friend of my ex-husband-the-drummer, but she has been to my house for dinner). She is a lawyer FOR the Clinic, and I don’t know what help she could be…I am going to check with Robert, just in case…

    I wish you were at Duke instead…I have some high up connections there…I hope the guy who answered you on your blog can help you. Love to you.

  84. Amber…
    It is so obvious how much Molly loves you and values your friendship, I’m sure she just embraced that possible exhaustion as a way to show her love. Like my sweet daughter Kate.

  85. I’m just posting my self silly this morning!

    But I wanted to comment to Sher, that when I was little in the dark ages, and got taken to the movies to see Bambi, I can still remember how amazed I was to hear “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all” come from Flower’s baby skunk voice. I thought my MOM had originated that sentiment, because I had heard her say it so often!

    I hope your Party is great, and you and Linda give each other hugs for me…

  86. Sherril, you are a sweet bit of lovely, it was WONDERFUL to meet you, I am so glad you conquered your social anxiety, and I ADORE your daughter…she is a true beauty, inside and out. You made me think of me and my own mother (Cheryl and Kate!)…it is wonderful to see a mother and daughter connecting so.

  87. Amber,

    I think one of the sweetest (and funniest) parts of The Story of Amber and Molly Meeting Haven is that both you and Molly mentioned not being able to eat or talk for a while after Haven entered. Later, both of you mentioned that Molly eventually finished her dinner and yours. I don’t know why I find that so funny, but I really do– all the more since you both mentioned it, as a throwaway matter-of-factness.

    It reminds me of the old Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown and Linus are watching Snoopy with one of his snowman friends. The sun comes out, the snowman melts, and Snoopy is bereft. Yet, as Charlie Brown comments, “I notice he wasn’t too sensitive to eat the carrot.”

    Nora B.,

    I believe you posted something here recently (but probably pages and pages ago, in blog time) about grief, and the pressure of others to Move On, or maybe it was the difficulty people have when something is hard, and they need the grieving one to feel better Soon so that their own discomfort is relieved? [Does that sound familiar At All?] I wanted to get back to that one, but on rushed the stream. Uhm, whatever you said way back when [hopefully I'm remembering aright that you're the one who said it] sent me on a worthy ramble in my own heart.

    ~ S.

  88. Any mention of “Peanuts” warms my heart.

  89. Carrie!

    I made italics!

    Boldly!

    ~ S.

  90. Sarah…
    That was me…thanks for connecting with me about it. It feels good to contribute to the thought processes that are, as you said, rushing like a stream here.

    “not too sensitive to eat the carrot” is getting added to my lexicon of wryness…

    I badly need to learn the bold/italics skills…so I can stop Capitalizing Everything For Emphasis.

  91. Nora,

    Capitalizing for emphasis will always have a place, as proved out by luminaries such as Dickinson and Milne long before Al Gore invented the internets.

    If you’d like, I can send you Carrie’s oh-so-clear instructions for italics and boldnesses. I’m here: vollehutte At gmail.com.

    ~ S.

  92. Sher, you CRACK me up. Now I want to go all ghetto on this friend of Haven’s. Listen up ye he dares insult and make up horrible lies about our fair maiden:

    I may have 30 disease, but I can STILL kick your ass. I used to be a bouncer in the biggest bar in Michigan. I’m mean, low down, and vengeful when I need to be. You better write Haven a letter of appology, or I’m going to go grab a lead pipe, hunt you down, and smack you repeatedly with it.

  93. Nora,
    I’ll take any help I can get. Thank you so much for offering to check with that friend! I came to Mayo because the leading specialist in Autonomic disorders works there.

  94. Linda, I’m a bit better, but stuck in my hotel eating truffles and peeing into a jug. Hubby snuck out to got to the bookstore because being around a mopey sick person stinks.

    Also, thanks for all the blog baby love that you asll sent to me. It helped to wake up and read such nice things from you.

  95. I was supposed to be blog-free today but I couldn’t stay away.
    Has anyone heard back from Gigi? She is having a very bad time at the Mayo Clinic. Send her e-mails, she is having a melt-down.
    Jenny – Welcome, welcome. Come into the light. There is peace and serenity in the light. Join all us former lurkers and enjoy. So, do you lean toward Little House or Anne?

    Gotta get to the dump before it closes … later

  96. Oop – Hi Gigi! I was composing that above when you commented. Don’t you just hate that? Now I look silly …

  97. NoraBarnacles!!!! You are so stinking cute. I just love you. POSTPOSTPOSTPOSTPOSTPOST. OR–you can email me and I will post it for you. It would be the written version of how I made Amber be my friend. I am SO glad you came. SO SO SO SO SO Glad.

    Amber–don’t be a goose, you silly girl. You never exhaust me. You *only* ever lift me up. And also, don’t lie. Most people say “awhile” and mean an hour or at most a week. You say “awhile” and it means 4 semesters. I’m just saying…

    Sarah–I once had to give up food for 2 weeks (Rob broke up with me the First Time, and every time I tried to eat, I threw it right back up, so I just quit for awhile.) Now, I’m like, “Eh, pass me the bacon.” Food makes me happy. So, I eat. lol. That may also be why I am not so slowly starting to spread…Also, Amber would never have come if I hadn’t, but I’d like to remind her that I would never have posted here if she hadn’t told me to.

    So, it’s like I explained to Haven in 2 different conversations at Durham. Amber is the boss of me. And I am the boss of Amber. It’s really just like Haven and Augusten…except we get stuff done. :) (since they’re always joking about how they only encourage one another’s codependence. <— Did I come anywhere near to spelling that correctly?)

    Amy. WOW! THAT SUCKS MAJOR, SWEATY BALLS. That is how my sister would say it, and she’d be RIGHT. I am praying for you. If I had any money, I would send it. Prayer’s the best I got, so I will send that instead.

    Kate and Sher–can I just have you? You don’t have to be my aunt or my sister or anything. I just want to have full access to you anytime I want. :)

    And where, pray-tell, is KATHLEEN!?!?!?!?!?! Um, we spend 2 beautiful nights together and then…(sob, sniffle, sob) nothing. No calls, no notes (sob, sniffle, sob). I feel so…alone and used…
    :)

    And Maureen. Is there any end to her Goodness? No, I tell you there is not.

    Haven. Chin up.

    Love, Molly

  98. Maureen, I don’t have my glasses on, and the last post you made, when I read it, I saw, “I was composting…” and I just couldn’t figure out how that had anything to do with Amy. lol.

  99. I would love to get all puffy chested and say that I’ll travel all the way to NC to get all ninja on the offender, but let’s be real here – I’m a big f’n baby!

    I would just run away crying.

    I got into a “fight” once, in high school, with some snobby bitch on my bus, and all I could do was hold her wrists (so she wouldn’t hit me) and turn my face all red. The only good part was, 30 people piled into the office behind me, when I was in there getting threatened with suspension for turning my face all red.

    I was a bartender, briefly, at a dive bar where I played pool. The first sign of trouble I cowered behind the bar with the cord stretched to it’s full length, so I could call 911 without being seen by the big mean people fighting.

    Yep. I’m a big f’n baby, but I can type fighting words. lol

  100. Billy Collins makes me happy.

  101. And for mothers everywhere–it is a wry, universal truth:

  102. MOLLY…YES. You can have me. PLEASE. Call, email, WHATEVER.

  103. I am in San Francisco with Jack, spending quality time together. After a wonderful evening spent shopping, visiting City Lights Bookstore, and watching two movies in our room, we are driving up to see Suzanne and Pablo. In two hours the meeting will take place. We are so excited, and I will post everything, including pictures tomorrow night.
    GFTG- I am not sure what is going on, but you are in my prayers.
    Jenny, a big hug and welcome. You have found something amazing here and we are blessed to have you.
    Happy weekend to all of my lovelies here. xoxo

  104. Caryl – Enjoy that sweet red-headed boy and hello hello to Suzanne and Pablo

    Molly – Those poems were a treat. Billy Collins looks startling like my dad (sorry he’s dead, but glad he’s sober – Augusten B) – the Irish thing. Speaking of which, Andy and I have been watching back-to-back episodes of Ballykissangel off Netflix, and my desire to go to Ireland has become a dull ache. My long-delayed honeymoon perhaps?

  105. Maureen – Thank you for the shout out. I’m better, but still stressed.

    Molly – Yes, it does suck. I emailed the media dude from Mayo. I hope he will help me.

    Caryl – I’m at Mayo Clinic for my Dysautonomic, which screws up my whole nervous system. I have permanent nerve damage in two nerves so far. Mayo was supposed to start me in Neurology and Rheumatology. Instead, they started me out in Allegies. I’m here in a hotel room w/my husband, and they brought me here during the week when almost all of their Neurologists are on a medical conference. I have appointments with two different types of neurologists in Mid May. I’m off on a medical leave only until May 12th. No way I can afford to stay here this long, emotionally, financially, work or family wise. My hubby is leaving next weekend. I also had to cancel several other specialists because all of a sudden my BCBS may not pay for the consultation fees. And I’m feeling worse, and more confused than normal. Stressed, and forced to pee into a bucket for 24 hours. Because I may have Cushings Syndrome, which can be caused by a tumor, meaning oh yeah, maybe I have cancer in addition to the 30 other big and small medical conditions I have. And there is no ice cream to be found (Everything is open like M-F until 5pm) within walking distance. WTF?

    Everyone – Sorry to go on and on about this, but hubby is again in a sleep crisis, I don’t want to call anyone back home because of the costs, and nothing good is on tv.

  106. Yeah Molly! You tell Kathleen. I friended her on Facebook THE NIGHT I GOT BACK from Durham. Has she responded? No. I fear she may have played both of us. :(

    (So Kathleen, if you’re reading this, shape up! We miss you!) :P <3

  107. Hello, everyone.

    Thank you so much, Jim, Spirit, Kittery, George, Molly, Kate, Sher, Nora, Amber, Linda, and Haven for such a beautiful welcome! You are dear and good and I am delighted by all of you. It will be nice to be here.

    Ghetto Girl, I can help with things neurologic. I will contact you at your blog and we will try to pare things down to a more manageable scope.

    Maureen, I am a Little-House leaner, but I read both Little House and Anne series until the covers came off and the guts of those books broke apart into little pamphlet-sized segments.

    Haven, I am sorry and troubled to hear about what happened with your friend. It is one thing to get that sort of feedback from someone who doesn’t know you, but another thing entirely to receive such a message from someone you love and respect. My guess is that this doesn’t make sense to you because there isn’t sense to be made of the visible parts. The reality-checks you’ve received should be enough to convince you that her comments aren’t in keeping with what is actual and true. I think there is something very, very wrong in your friend’s life which could explain her behavior- you just don’t know what it is yet, and that’s why things don’t make sense. If you care to continue contact with this person who has hurt you, the answer will unfold over time. But Sher had it right with the YIELD/STOP paradigm. You get to decide whether and when this person gets to come back, and you can’t ever, ever give her the power to define you. She has lost her privileges in that respect.

    Sher, I loved your YIELD/STOP post so much that I copied and pasted it into a Word document so I can find it easily in the future. I am so, so glad that you failed to destroy yourself in those darkest moments. You are a bright light.

    Blog Babies, I think my Word document will soon fill to bursting with the collective wisdom and loveliness of this group.

  108. Oh, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny — I am so glad you came out of lurk mode — you are some smart. You had it exactly right: 1) there is no sense to be made of the visible parts, and 2) once someone’s leveled a world of hurt on someone they call a friend, they lose privileges. — A big warm welcome to you.

    GiGi — just read your post on your blog. I’m so sorry for all you’re going through right now. You’re in my prayers.

    Sher and Linda — I am beside myself that I do not live in Nashville this very night. Sher, I hope your party is everything you want it to be.

    Sarah! I’m so proud! (“…wasn’t too sensitive to eat the carrot.” Snork!)

  109. Carrie – thank you so much!

    Jenny, way to come out here and be able to offer me advice right off the bat.

    Side note: They have a Laura Inglas Wilder hotspot here in MN …. her bubby’s church. Now, if it was her house or her school, we’d be in the car lickity split.

  110. Oh, Jenny, I wanted to say that I hope you get over the idea soon that you have to have something *stunning* to say before you can say it. When I first started posting, I wrote all of them in Word first. :)

  111. … and by the time I got here, Molly was rushing into the room yelling,

    “OH HELL YES!”

    and sometimes,

    “OH HELL NO!”

    (though I maybe should have added more exclamation points, for accuracy’s sake?)

    with such a rush of exuberance and fresh air, it brought breath to me.

    (I mean, I love Molly for her heart and treasure her more articulate expressions of her self and perspectives, but, man, that “OH HELL YES!” was just what I needed.)

    ~ S.

  112. Sarah, I’m just not sure if that’s actually a compliment or not? lol.

    I do say “hell yes” and “hell no” a lot. Occasionally about the same thing.

    “A foolish consistency”…and all that jazz.

  113. Also, Sarah censored me. Frequently it’s “fuck” as opposed to just “hell.” :( I grew up Army and blame my love of swear words on that. :)

  114. So after crying and crying and crying about this (as Caryl and I agreed, our immediate go-to position is to assume the person is right: I really am a horrible mother and hate my husband no one can ever do enough for me, etc., even while my children themselves are standing in front of me saying “Whoa, crazy woman who loved us like a jaguar, and my husband is telling me he’d walk on burning coals for me) my former friend made an extreme tactical error. She lives way way out of town in a subdivision and she told me, in an insufferable tone, that she’d be happy to explain all the ways I’m . . . what, a failure etc., because I’m “dark” and “hip” and living a completely false life and my work life is so skewed I’m going to starve to death. And basically I’m just false at every turn. I said, “I CANNOT DRIVE,” as if I would FUCKING drive out to her house so I could sit like a peasant on her floor so she could patronize me anyway. She wrote back, “Oh, I think you can drive when you want to, I’ve noticed.” I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t even drive to Indiana when Delonda was having surgery. She meant when I went to pick up Polaris (she had, apparently, kept notes). Now if that is not the creepiest shit I’ve ever heard in my life I don’t know what is. I had to double my medication, get permission from my neurologist, and call 75 times on the way home. But I should drive in the dark to listen to her tell me how superior she is to be because I work to support my children and she does not.

    And that’s when I got it. I don’t have to be mad. You don’t have to be mad. (Although Amanda — damn is that a smart one — guessed it in one, and it’s no one who regularly posts here.) Her kids will be gone someday, and so will mine, and I’ll still have a career. And not only that, chances are, I’ll become more and more like my mother. And Former Friend who dared say I treat my son as if he makes my skin crawl? YOU ARE GOING TO TURN INTO YOUR MOTHER, TOO. And if that’s not the worst fate I can imagine for any human being, I pray to cease imagining. No WONDER you turned on me the way you did. You saw me on stage, with a career. And your sweet precious children will leave home, no matter how you try to prevent it. After that, your model for womanhood is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

    GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

  115. BRAVA, HAVEN!!! BRAVA!!!

  116. Thank you, Miss Molly. It came to me while trying to rescue a plastic pony out of a wolf’s mouth. But whatever it takes.

    xoxo

  117. You’re welcome.

    Your wolf should meet a young lady retriever named Casey who has eaten my glasses, 2 pairs of shoes, a garbage pail, a GLASS Christmas ornament…AND who just stole my used tissue.

  118. Haven, that person sounds like she spends so much time examining the lives of others she has no idea what a horrible person she is. She needs a great big mirror, on wheels, so she can look in that mirror every time she opens her awful mouth.

    I’m glad you’re identifying her as “former friend.”

  119. Molly,

    It’s most certainly a compliment. I just thought I’d toss it in there, after reading that you used to compose your posts in Word. It’s not always the more obvious (or obviously praiseworthy) aspects of ourselves that mean the most to someone else at a given time. Ah, the manifold grace of God, reflected through our prism’d selves.

    And no, I didn’t censor you; while your more frequent swear words might work their magic on others, it was definitely “HELL NO.” Like that. Except when it was “OH HELL YES!”

    ~ S.

  120. Sarah, you’re so dear.

    Now I wonder what I was “hell no”-ing!

    But I’m glad you liked it so well. :) It’s a day to be cherished when you learn you brought something good to another’s life.

  121. Can y’all stand another lurker coming out today?

    Haven, I’ve been reading each of your books as soon as they came out, ever since Zippy. When Zippy was new I bought 10 copies, and gave 9 away to dear friends. I have since bought more in paperback and gave away a copy just today to a friend from childhood (we grew up in southwestern Ohio) who so needs to know your work.

    I’ve only been reading the blog a few weeks but feel as if I know you all. I wanted so badly to come to Durham but I could not get off work.

    Haven, I do not know why this hurtful person has said these horrible things about you, and obviously I wasn’t there at the event, but anyone who has read your books has to know you are not capable of what this person has accused you of.

    –Mary Lou Hutson, in Charlotte

  122. OH HELL YES, MARY LOU!

    Glad you came on out.

  123. I’ve been far and away many days, but I wanted to pop in and wave frantically to the new folks. HI NEW FOLKS!!!

    Also to say to Sarah: WHERE IS YOUR BLOG? I love the way you write and express yourself. It is magic.

    To GFTG: So sorry for what you are going through. I hope you have peace and answers, both.

    I am on page 5 of a 15-page research paper on Audre Lorde’s mother as represented in Zami. and the main character of the novel The Joys of Motherhood. This happens to be due at NINE in the MORNING. TOMORROW.

    Fiance Dave has already brewed a pot of coffee for me.

    And I picked up my wedding gown today.

    And I am getting married in THREE weeks.

    And I should get back to typing that claw-my-eyes-out-with-a-spork paper.

  124. I like your avatar Mary Lou, it looks like a vampire arrow with e brain wig.

  125. GFTG, I am SO sorry you’re in the thick of it. You will be in my thoughts and prayers (and I’m not a huge pray-er, so I think God always gets a little excited when I check in).

  126. Ha! Shanna! I love you, you kill me.

  127. We are all here because we love good GREAT writing, so I am going to shamelessly proselytize the book I’ve read/listened to three times in the last few weeks. It’s called The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and it is about a white woman and two black maids in 1962 Mississippi. It is a novel I feel too deeply passionate about to talk about much, but if anyone else has read or does read it I would LOOOOOVE to discuss it with you. I am pasting below the excerpt that is posted on the author’s website, in order to whet your appetite and seduce you all.

    Excerpt from The Help.

    Two days later, I sit in my parent’s kitchen, waiting for dusk to fall. I give in and light another cigarette even though last night the surgeon general came on the television set and shook his finger at everybody, trying to convince us that smoking will kill us. But Mother once told me tongue kissing would turn me blind and I’m starting to think it’s all just a big plot between the surgeon general and Mother to make sure no one ever has any fun.

    At eight o’clock that same night, I’m stumbling down Aibileen’s street as discreetly as one can carrying a fifty-pound Corona typewriter. I knock softly, already dying for another cigarette to calm my nerves. Aibileen answers and I slip inside. She’s wearing the same green dress and stiff black shoes as last time.

    I try to smile, like I’m confident it will work this time, despite the idea she explained over the phone. “Could we . . . sit in the kitchen this time?” I ask. “Would you mind?”

    “Alright. Ain’t nothing to look at, but come on back.”

    The kitchen is about half the size of the living room and warmer. It smells like tea and lemons. The black-and-white linoleum floor has been scrubbed thin. There’s just enough counter for the china tea set. I set the typewriter on a scratched red table under the window. Aibileen starts to pour the hot water into the teapot.

    “Oh, none for me, thanks,” I say and reach in my bag. “I brought us some Co-Colas if you want one.” I’ve tried to come up with ways to make Aibileen more comfortable. Number One: Don’t make Aibileen feel like she has to serve me.

    “Well, ain’t that nice. I usually don’t take my tea till later anyway.” She brings over an opener and two glasses. I drink mine straight from the bottle and seeing this, she pushes the glasses aside, does the same.

    I called Aibileen after Elizabeth gave me the note, and listened hopefully as Aibileen told me her idea–for her to write her own words down and then show me what she’s written. I tried to act excited. But I know I’ll have to rewrite everything she’s written, wasting even more time. I thought it might make it easier if she could see it in type-face instead of me reading it and telling her it can’t work this way.

    We smile at each other. I take a sip of my Coke, smooth my blouse. “So . . .” I say.

    Aibileen has a wire-ringed notebook in front of her. “Want me to . . .just go head and read?”

    “Sure,” I say.

    We both take deep breaths and she begins reading in a slow, steady voice.

    “My first white baby to ever look after was named Alton Carrington Speers. It was 1924 and I’d just turned fifteen years old. Alton was a long, skinny baby with hair fine as silk on a corn . . .”

    I begin typing as she reads, her words rhythmic, pronounced more clearly than her usual talk. “Every window in that filthy house was painted shut on the inside, even though the house was big with a wide green lawn. I knew the air was bad, felt sick myself . . .”

    “Hang on,” I say. I’ve typed wide greem. I blow on the typing fluid, retype it. “Okay, go ahead.”

    “When the mama died, six months later,” she reads, “of the lung disease, they kept me on to raise Alton until they moved away to Memphis. I loved that baby and he loved me and that’s when I knew I was good at making children feel proud of themselves . . .”

    I hadn’t wanted to insult Aibileen when she told me her idea. I tried to urge her out of it, over the phone. “Writing isn’t that easy. And you wouldn’t have time for this anyway, Aibileen, not with a full-time job.”

    “Can’t be much different than writing my prayers every night.”

    It was the first interesting thing she’d told me about herself since we’d started the project, so I’d grabbed the shopping pad in the pantry. “You don’t say your prayers, then?”

    “I never told nobody that before. Not even Minny. Find I can get my
    point across a lot better writing em down.”

    “So this is what you do on the weekends?” I asked. “In your spare time?” I liked the idea of capturing her life outside of work, when she wasn’t under the eye of Elizabeth Leefolt.

    “Oh no, I write a hour, sometimes two ever day. Lot a ailing, sick peoples
    in this town.”

    I was impressed. That was more than I wrote on some days. I told her we’d try it just to get the project going again.

    Aibileen takes a breath, a swallow of Coke, and reads on.

    She backtracks to her first job at thirteen, cleaning the Francis the First silver service at the governor’s mansion. She reads how on her first morning, she made a mistake on the chart where you filled in the number of pieces so they’d know you hadn’t stolen anything.

    “I come home that morning, after I been fired, and stood outside my house with my new work shoes on. The shoes my mama paid a month’s worth a light bill for. I guess that’s when I understood what shame was and the color of it too. Shame ain’t black, like dirt, like I always thought it was. Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all night to pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it.”

    Aibileen looks up to see what I think. I stop typing. I’d expected the stories to be sweet, glossy. I realize I might be getting more than I’d bargained for. She reads on.

    “. . . so I go on and get the chiffarobe straightened out and before I know it, that little white boy done cut his fingers clean off in that window fan I asked her to take out ten times. I never seen that much red come out a person and I grab the boy, I grab them four fingers. Tote him to the colored hospital cause I didn’t know where the white one was. But when I got there, a colored man stop me and say, Is this boy white? The typewriter keys are clacking like hail on a roof. Aibileen is reading faster and I am ignoring my mistakes, stopping her only to put in another page. Every eight seconds, I fling the carriage aside.

    “And I says Yessuh, and he say, Is them his white fingers? And I say, Yessuh, and he say, Well you better tell them he your high yellow cause that colored doctor won’t operate on a white boy in a Negro hospital. And then a white policeman grab me and he say, Now you look a here–”

    She stops. Looks up. The clacking ceases.

    “What? The policeman said look a here what?”

    “Well, that’s all I put down. Had to catch the bus for work this morning.”

    I hit the return and the typewriter dings. Aibileen and I look each other straight in the eye. I think this might actually work.

  128. Hi Mary Lou! Welcome! It’s so nice to have all these new people.

    Haven – Good for you on that bolt of clarity about the former friend.

    When I was in the midst of anxiety counseling, I read something that completely changed my outlook on people like that:
    20% of people will love you, no matter what you do
    20% of people will hate you, no matter what you do
    The rest can go either way

    I used to spend ENORMPUS (that was a typo, but I like it: I’ll let it stand) amounts of time obsessing over people who disliked me or disliked what I did and trying so hard to change myself to get them to like me – to no avail.

    Once I accepted the truth of those percentages, I realized what a waste of my time and energy it was to think about and court those 20% who were NEVER going to like me for whatever reason: their own agendas, their own issues, just crankiness. Then I could just RELEASE that whole thing. (Not that I can always remember this in the midst of a day)

    I also learned a lot about people by milking cows. Most cows are very pleasant about it, they even enjoy it. A very few will kick because they were born mean. Some kick because something hurts – it’s the COW not me. But I did know that if they kicked me, it wasn’t because of ME, because I try very hard to be very and quiet when I’m milking. If there is PAIN involved, maybe I can help; maybe I can’t. But I did learn to get out of the way.

    Sarah – HELL YES on that about Molly Bug. We love you, Bug!

  129. Love the cow analogy, Mo! Hell to the Yes! That’s exactly right!

  130. Amanda and Shanna – Thanks you so much for your thoughts.

    Mary Lou – I have to say this, because its funny. When I read your post, I instanly thought , oh, how cool is it that Mary Lou Retton is on here. Sigh. I’m such a dork, but I’m blaming it on my vision issues. That and my frequent typos. Welcome, and let me give you a OH HELL YES.

  131. I cannot remember if I shared this with you all or not, but I think it’s hysterical.

    Student: Whoa, Mrs. T. You’re friends with ENGINEERS and that WRITER AND a guy who MAKES MOVIES! (shakes head) You know Awesome People.

    ME: Well, when YOU are awesome, you tend to attract awesome people. It’s a law of physics.

    Student (under his breath): I thought it was “opposites attract.”

    I laughed until I cried.

  132. Hmm. The bold didn’t quite work out like I hoped…

  133. Molly- hahahhahahahahaha that was precious.

    Welcome Mary Lou!

    Oh my was it wonderful to visit Sher at her very own home last night. I got to meet her very adorable and totally nice husband, Don. He is even cuter in person than in photos. Sher’s children are all beautiful too. Claire is just as I imagined her. A little Zippy. Dylan and Lauren are both dark haired and gorgeous. Sher has more cool friends than you can shake a stick at. She gave us a tour of her studio and showed us how to make encaustics. I had to smile at the young girl who was there with her mom whom I presume was a neighbor. To say that she is in AWE of Sher would be an understatement.

    Of course we talked about Haven and our wonderful blog baby friends and we hope Sher’s friend, Jean, will join us. So, Jean, if you are reading this, HELLO! Nice to meet you! Jean is an talented artist too and her husband is groovy and cool and takes beautiful photos of birds. He gave Sher one of a magnificent whooping crane with a red face.

    Haven- thank you for creating this space – thank you for your writing, for being friends with Augusten, for being so generous and smart and gorgeous. My life has definitely been changed for the better by knowing you and all my Blog Baby friends.

    Off to church now. It is another beautiful sunny day in Nashville. xoxo

  134. I still want to beat ‘woman with head up ass’ . . .

  135. Ok, after catching up on 36 hours of ‘non-blog’ time . . .I am breathless and recovering from re-crying and – yes, Dee – Hell to the Yes – ’tis brilliant.

    GiGi – I have to spend some quality time with Claire today, but would love to be on your support list . . . can talk anytime and I will call you where ever you happen to be (I am on cingular/at&T, but have unlimited home long distance . . . give the number to call and I will do so . . . sher dot fick at live dot com or sherfickart at gmail dot com . . . note – they all feed into one email, so any one’s you use get to me.

    Sherrill – you were on top form yesterday, I am so with you posting again and again – you know that is my format, too – you are an angel of love and welcomeness – – I am almost horrified that everyone had such nervousness about our Durham meeting or fear of posting – does this mean I am a exhibitionist for not being nervous about any of that – – – it seems wrong somehow . . . in fact I felt most awkward with the ‘fan club’ references because I know that we are so much more than that – to Haven and to each other. An inner circle of love and light . . . and I am so happy, happy that Mary Lou (& Jenny) chose to jump in.

    And, yes, Linda – Jean better join us because she is a perfect fit, too!

    Now, as to Kathleen – she must be really busy, because I can’t believe she teased us with a fling and then dropped us like hot potatoes . . .

    Maureen . . . yes the Cow analogy – wow, that is so in tune with this situation. And also reiterates one of my mottos or life creeds – all lessons for us can be found in nature

    off to entertain my Zippy, who is wearing the turtle whistle around her neck that Linda brought her – she will not be parted from it!

  136. Last I heard, my darling sis is off to organize and run an inter-state, inter-national, inter-galactic book festival in Texas to celebrate great gains in reading scores and the power of books. She is also on a deep, deep difficult rooting-out of past badnesses and is emerging triumphant. Send good blog vibes her way. I am sure she will reappear when the dust settles. She does think you’re all the cat’s pajamas.

    I am just back from the swim team banquet, clinging to my hope that I am an OK mom. I do try. I always feel a little slouchy when I am around other parents.

    It is actually HOT here! I see leaves!

  137. Hi,

    Just stopped by to drop off another limmerick.

    Here goes:

    A mustard inspector named Julie

    regarded the product quite coolly

    “It is yellow, tis true, but it’s not going thru

    until it is stamped by yours trully.”

  138. Matt, your going to send Haven off the cliff, you know she has a deep fear of mustard, right?

  139. Dee & GftG,

    How much of Bouncing relies on, you know, actually Bouncing, and how much can be accomplished by simply looking the part?

    Amanda,

    How’d that 9am deadline go, especially after taking a station break to inform us of yet another book worth pursuing?

    I’ve thought of you often since you hit the one-month-to-go mark. Your wedding date happens to coincide with the day my sheets and towels turn 22, and was long one of my favorite days of the year. I trust you will keep it well.

    I also thought of you last week end when, navigating tricky social waters, I decided the best approach would be to aim for Inconspicuous, with Formidable as my ready fall-back. I seem to have unwittingly accomplished Invisible….

    So, with Invisibility as my newly-revealed superpower, I think it might just be time to head to Space Camp– and am counting on you to enjoy the reference.

    No, no Blog. But I did just discover this line from John Berryman:

    “I am the girl who knows better but.”

    Such lines deserve air and light.

    That, and I recently unearthed footage of me at 7 or 8 years old running a drink stand, attempting to sell juice.

    Indoors.

    At my younger sister’s birthday party.

    Should I or someone else figure out how to transfer such footage to spreadable media? I will post be toast.

    Thanks for your kind words.
    ~ S.

  140. …and I once again mistyped a line right in front of me, which should read,

    “I am the girl who does know better but.”

    Which of course is fitting, in this instance. Even though I’ve now ruined the whole effect. Sorry, Mr. Berryman.

    Since here I am again, I will also post this in memory of Bea Arthur, whom I suddenly miss in a way that surprises me:

    “Walter, if you lay one hand on that kid then all your friends will be dressed in black and driving with their lights on.”

    ~ S.

  141. Amanda- I enjoyed reading that excerpt!

  142. It is a magical evening here on the farm. The peepers and toads are loud outside the window, and there is a gorgeous thin, slim crook of a moon. A heifer calf was just born.

  143. Aww. That sounds so nice, Mo.

  144. Where is everyone tonight?

  145. Sarah, you come up with the best quotes.

    Amber would expect me to stick the Dorothy Parker one in again.

    Instead, I’ll use one of my favorite Billy Collins.

    “There is no way you are the pine-scented air.”

  146. One time one of my brothers said:

    “The oddest use I ever put to a Mark Twain book was to kill a fly with it. But I had to throw it on the fly twice.”

  147. That’s an excellent quote. I’m going to cut and paste. You never know when you’ll need a Mark Twain anecdote.

  148. the peepers are singing their sweet songs in unison, with the occasional solo. i LOVE it. i sit on the porch and just listen. mo, i totally agree with you on the beauty. peepers are spring to me.

    today is was well over 80 degrees in CT and i was HOT. i believe i was complaining about being cold not that long ago. the grass is always greener

    GiGi, hold your head up, high. you can do this. life has given you some tough stuff to get through, and you do.

    haven, that malicious creeper will get what is coming. karma is like that. i truly believe that very bad things happen to bad people. when bad things happen to good people who don’t deserve it, the good take the “hit” in stride, and keep on going. that person is a bad egg. if anyone ever questioned my motherhood or devotion to my husband, well, it could be a “time to kill”. just thinking of it is making me furious. at any rate, fuck that. just fuck it. worse, bigger, messier and smellier that bullshit, elephant shit. blue whale shit?

    i miss you guys. i have to get a root canal and i am freaking out. i would seriously rather go into labor. i BEGGED to be knocked out, but no–no way, they won’t do it. oh, cool. let me just hang out here, WIDE AWAKE, while you vacuum out my nerve. why do teeth even nerves? should that have evolved out? i don’t have a tail.

  149. Y’all are just so cool.

    I am going to look for _The Help_, it sounds like a good read.

    I do not know how to make an avatar on here, I think I was randomly assigned whatever.

    –ML

  150. Steph–while I fully admit to not being afraid of the dentist one little bit (please don’t everyone shoot me), I found my root canal to be PLEASANT because when it was over, my tooth didn’t hurt. I was HAPPY.

    Plus, the dope you up big time, and I’m a fan of legal dope.

  151. molly, i am almost positive that i get novocaine only. if i am doped, i would be just fine. oh god, i am not gonna sleep tonight. between the sox and the yanks playing and this friggin tooth. yes, it does KILL right now, so i am looking forward to no more pain.

  152. But novocaine DOES the trick.

    Do you have time to ask your MD to dope you a bit?

  153. LB, i will make time.

    ok, so i am a red sox fanatic. jacoby ellesbury straight out stole home, while we were playing the yankees. so, if you have any interest:

    http://soxanddawgs.com/2009/04/26/video-jacoby-ellsbury-steals-home/

    i know you don’t really know me, but imagine a 32 year old JUMPING and screaming. what is it about the sox? i dunno.

  154. Make time. It’s what my teaching partner in NH used to do–ACTUALLY–her dentist WOULD NOT SEE HER if she didn’t already having 2 Valium in her. :) That’s the God’s honest truth.

    Bed time!

    Love you all!

  155. Sher…

    There is not one thing wrong with you for not being a wimpy basketcase!!

    It’s the sheer good spirited and creative audacity of people like you who help lure the shy and retiring into the light…We are all different, and one of the amazing things about this little universe we have going on here is how you all make the effort to “see the light” in everyone here…a very Quakerly skill…

  156. night night. sox sweep yanks. yesssssssssssssssssssss

  157. Steph,

    Well, that sure hit the spot! Thanks for posting the link to Ellsbury’s steal.

    Yesterday I watched my son’s baseball team lose 14-0 (against a rassnfrassn stacked team in a supposedly equitable town league), but got home in time to watch the Red Sox win in the early evening. They’re rarely on TV down thisaway, so it was a treat. I was thinking you were out there somewhere, watching too!

    ~ S.

  158. Simon Cowell embarrassed by initial reaction to Susan Boyle:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=7425196

  159. Will it never end?!??!

  160. i am headed out to my root canal. i am actually shaking. i must be a child. people hate the dentist, right?

  161. Steph- I am with you totally on the fear and utter dread of anything dental. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers right now that it will not hurt one single bit.

  162. I am thinking of you Steph, be brave!!!
    Hello Babies! I hate being gone for an entire weekend and missing out on all of the fun! I am off to email GfromG and send her my well wishes and hugs.

  163. Shit, I was out of town at the Festival of Books this weekend and it’s too late now, but STEPH WHY oh WHY are you going to a dentist that won’t medicate you if you’re terrified? I’ve had a couple of BAD experiences that–combined with my generally neurotic demeanor–have given me utter dental terror. Once I didn’t go to the dentist for oh, I don’t know, 8 years, because I JUST COULDN’T WRAP MY MIND AROUND IT. STEPH, BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY.

  164. Not sure where you live, Steph, but hopefully in a large enough area where you have a choice of dentists. Google “sedation dentists” in your area. I personally am a big fan of nitrous oxide, in fact, I won’t open my mouth at the dentist until I am strapped in and breathing it deeply, even for cleanings and exams, but that’s just me. Some people prefer oral sedation because they can take it beforehand. Don’t suffer, buttercup. There’s no need.

  165. There is a billboard on I-96 just before Grand Rapids that claims Sedation Dentistry is like “a day at the beach.” I don’t believe it.

    I’m terrified of the dentist because of the sadist my mother took me too as a child. However, back when I had dental insurance I did find a guy that was both gentle he was very funny. It still wasn’t anywhere near like going to the beach.

  166. A day at the beach my ass

  167. Perahps some sedation would help all my mistyping? lol

  168. happy news to report. i am ok after the root canal. no joke, i needed about 10 times the normal amount of novocaine, and i was visibly shaking when the dentist was in the room. it was over pretty quickly. no meds though at all. i am a little scared about what it will feel like after the numbness goes away…although i am sure it can’t be worse than the infected nerve! thanks for all the kind thoughts. the nightmare-inducing part is over, although i have to go back for some “gentle shaping” and then a crown. no dental insurance, so all and all it should cost about $2000. jeepers! and i am a brusher, rinser and flosser! with or without sedation meds, i don’t think a dental visit is EVER even close to a day at the beach. hand to god, i would rather a pap. on that note, happy monday!

  169. shanna, you are totally right. i actually have panic attacks about the dentist. i am gonna find one who will help me out. too bad i saw your post after the root canal!

  170. I have such confidence in my dentist that the last time I needed a filling, I asked her to do it without novacaine.

    “Are you sure, George?”

    “Yeah, what the hell. Just do it, Margaret. You got the magic touch.”

    “This has got to be a first…but it’s your teeth.”

    “How bad can it be? Besides, I hate the stupid, fat way my lip feels when I get that stuff, Margaret.”

    So, she did it.

    I swear, it didn’t hurt at all…well, maybe just a little at first when she took a sharp pick-like instrument and started probing the dimensions of the cavity.

    But it wasn’t nearly as bad as when she accidentally pushed the drill bit into my tooth a tad too deeply but it is a good thing that my sense of smell isn’t so well developed because I could have gotten a touch nauseous after noticing the cloud of smoke coming from my mouth along with the scent of burnt bone.

    Fortunately, it didn’t go on too long, so it was bearable. I was surprised to see a tooth on my lap, however.

    Packing the filling turned out to be…interesting…especially when she tightened the little metal from around my tooth a turn too much, causing the tooth the crack.

    It was a small crack, though, and just needed a few laser cuts that were filled in with the stuff dentists use. I think she went through a tablespoon of it…

    And really about the only problem was mopping up the blood after she finished, but the Red Cross did a good job of it and even managed to salvage a couple of pints for their blood bank.

    I guess there is some advantage to my dentist being located so near the State Department because I did notice that CIA agents had appeared and were taking notes to forward over to Dick Cheney. I was glad that I hadn’t taken drugs, because if I had mentioned the CIA part, someone would have accused me of being under the influence, which I most assuredly was not.

    And…that afternoon, I was able to join my Toastmasters meeting and participate. I did lose a couple of points on my pronunciation.

  171. I must be a freak. I love going to the dentist. It helps that my dentist is HYSTERICALLY funny, but also I’ve never had a bad experience. And dude, I have had some SCREWED UP stuff going on in my mouth, trust me. I’m surprised I’m not in a medical journal. I did once hallucinate the Matrix while under nitrous oxide, and I had never even SEEN the Matrix. Weird.

    My kids were afraid of the dentist too, because of Finding Nemo, but they aren’t now. I hope that doesn’t change after J gets his steel crown.

  172. Actually, I love going to my dentist.

    I especially love it when she is working on the side of my mouth opposite to her. She leans in really close, giving me an earful of her bosom. It’s kinda perverse on my part, but, hey, I’m a guy.

    And when I told her that I didn’t want the shot of novacaine, her actual comment was: “It’s such a little prick.”

    To which I said, hey, you’re my dentist, not my doc!”

  173. Oh George, you made my Monday.
    We would have said ” thats what she says” but I like yours much better.
    xoxo

  174. George–you are a bad boy for posting all that cringe-inducing stuff. And a naughty boy in general. Hilarious!

    Steph–I missed you before your appt. but I was going to say that the fear of the root canal was worse than the actual event for me. It’s really a glorified filling and I was MUCH happier when the tooth no longer hurt. It gets a little sore when the stuff wears off but I just took a few ibuprofen. Hope your day goes well.

  175. George! My goodness, you’re not nearly so effusive about your foot doctor.

    Haven, it is heartening to see you’ve figured out a soul-reclaiming stance with regard to this painful, friend-delivered blow. Am curious- how does Quakerism handle such things? My woefully superficial knowledge of Quakers includes some idea that they are pacifists. However, being a pacifist doesn’t mean you can’t be furious, and a person SHOULD be furious sometimes. Being a good person means we have to draw the line somewhere, and hold firm on what we will and will not tolerate.

    I so love Delonda’s line about whether or not something is ‘the hill you want to die on,’ and that line crosses my mind quite a bit when I’m in an uproar about something. Rarely, rarely, rarely, though, the answer to that question is ‘Yes. Absolutely, Yes. I will damn well die on this hill if that’s what it takes.’

    But how does one do that and still remain a pacifist without simply relinquishing oneself for the slaughter?

    Sher, you have shared stories in which you seem to have walked that line rather well. Did those experiences leave you with any overarching rules-to-live-by that you can share?

    I love that your name is a homonym for ‘share.’ That seems about right.

  176. George. hahahahahahaha

    So, my son went to the Dave Matthews concert on Saturday night. He said “everyone” was smoking pot around him and he went on to describe several older couples with joints that were ginormous. LOL He showed me the size with his hands, you know, like fish. I don’t think I would have ever in a million years told my mother about the people smoking pot around me when I was 16. Actually, the only people I was ever around who smoked pot when I was 16 were my sister and her friends, so couldn’t go there.

    I am so thankful my kids do not drink or smoke pot. I am really hopeful that seeing me deal with my recovery has made them more mindful of the ill effects of mind altering stuff. At least for now. I love my kids.

  177. Oh, Jenny . . . . my rules to live by grow every day with each experience.

    After my last soul crushing experience (almost 2 years ago). . . . it was major life rules creation . . . here are some exerpts from an email I sent Haven after her Friend/Foe experience.

    “ok. I wish I had recorded the words you spoke to me the night we discussed my ++++++++’s emails.

    This situation is eerily close to that so I want to reiterate what you told me regarding my own broken heart at being abused emotionally.

    This person will not hear or accept the truth. They are getting something out of sabotaging you. To lure you in and then sucker punch you again and again. How many cheeks is a person supposed to have.
    Although, if you were the 3 headed monster said individual assumes, you would have at least 6 cheeks, plus 2 more on your lovely derriere – but sounds like they have used all those cheeks and that you have
    ‘turned it’ enough.

    That is not the definition of a friend. If you feel the need to again and again be defending your life choices with this person, if you do not feel nurtured by this person, if you feel you must justify
    yourself to this person . . .

    that is an enemy of your heart.

    I really understand the pain of the betrayal. This person has no space in your inner circle. You have spiritually outgrown the relationship, or – they have spiritually devolved.

    Perhaps what you believe a friend is has been projected onto this person. Because as your pureness of heart comes naturally, it might be what you believe motivates others? In other words, perhaps you are projecting that this is a ‘friend’ when in fact, that is not the case.

    What this is is a beautiful gift . . . I have done this many times in my life with not just ‘friends’ but ‘family’.

    We assume that everybody is motivated by the same things we are – goodness, purity, integrity. and THEY assume we are motivated by the same things they
    are – jealousy, offense, and hatred fed by disappointment.

    This isn’t just judgment. It is damnation at the highest (actually, the lowest) level.

    Feel the pain because it is how you will finally be able to disconnect and become emotionally independent [from that parasitic relationship]. . . perhaps you have as high a pain tolerance as I have developed over the years, but at some point these relationships end up being hair shirts and, really, self-flagellation is so out-dated!

    If you remember, I finally came to the conclusion in my emails to my +++++++ that I didn’t recognize the person she was speaking of. It was
    coming from her alone. It is this person’s issue. Not yours. I did learn so much about myself and I feel I am so much stronger and that I
    cherish my true chosen family even dearer than before . . . so, yes, there is a lesson here, but it isn’t that you put on the ‘hair shirt’ of this person’s accusations.

    This person is trying to burn your house down from the inside. Please don’t let them in to do you, or your family, any further damage.

    In being so miserable – that is hurting your family. that is what finally led me to putting the skids on my own toxic relationship with my +++++++ . . . I could no longer let it effect me so negatively – we
    are the foundation of the love in the family and to us, you, me = unstable and insecure scares the bejesus out of kids. It is painful, to be so raw and torn apart and to doubt yourself and the genuine love
    you have for your family and they have for you.

    As Zippy would say:

    “Pshaw!”

    . . . you know everybody has your back, and several have the wings, and many lead at your front with their shields and swords drawn.

    Me, I have my lance, and will be wherever there is a breach in the line . . .

    If thy right hand offend thee . . .

    I have felt and really understand this pain, so don’t belittle your emotions, it is devastating, but try to get to the core of where this is emanating from . . . I don’t believe it is from you.

    Ok . . . , hello – I asked Don the same thing
    when my ++++++++ told me I should leave him and the kids because I was a terrible mother and wife (and that I should run and off be an artist)
    – – – he said “she’s crazy” and I think you said, later “she’s insane,
    she can’t hear the truth” . . .

    So, please – look in the mirror and see the reflection that your loved ones see, not this smeared, demonized version that someone else is
    projecting from their twisted vision.

    You are well-loved, you love well.”

  178. so – after billions of tears and words . . . it really comes down to just a few simple things.

    1. perhaps I should let individuals earn my trust as I tend to freely give it – to check the authenticity and provenance before labeling someone ‘genuine’ . . . because so few really are.

    2. I should never allow myself to be the doormat. Although I was bred to be a doormat, that no longer has a place in my life.

    3. Relationships should be 2 way streets, if I constantly feel taken advantage of, judged, condemned, then it is not a 2 way – it is a one way in which I VOLUNTEER myself to be abused. The only cure is OUT.

    4. Emotional abuse is just as damaging, or more damaging, than physical and sexual abuse. This is very true in my life.

    5. If someone criticizes me – I first check the source: a) do I respect this person and their own work ethic/world view/etc. b) if not, then I discard the critique, or c) if I do respect them and believe they are speaking from a pure heart, I will question myself and see where I am not communicating efficiently. Sometimes I just tend to ‘assume’ that someone understands my motivations – – that leads to major misunderstanding.

  179. in other news:

    1. I have a zit in my eyebrow.
    2. I’ve decided under clothing is too confining – I refuse to wear any pieces of underclothing while alone in my home. there.
    3. I became so afraid while reading George’s story that he was channeling James Frey.
    4. Thank God PIPPI finally appeared, literally WEEKS after I changed my ‘gravatar’
    5. I love leftover party food . .. have gained 2 pounds since Saturday.

  180. Linda – Claire is STILL wearing the turtle whistle!

  181. Yes, yes, yes, Sher (points 1-5).
    1 and 2 especially easy to ‘know’, but so hard to put into practice…

  182. Damn it! Sher’s FIRST 1-5 list. :P

  183. Kittery – LOL

  184. Thank you, Sher. These are beautiful insights. I am sorry they had to be so hard-won, but oh how lovely they have made you.

  185. I can’t wait to hear what George says about channeling James Frey.

    Sher, I wrote that beautiful part before I read about the zit and no undies.

  186. See – I always have to balance my spiritual epiphanies with zit stories . . . it keeps me balanced!

  187. the other way I could say no underclothing is that I stay in ‘pj’ type clothing until 4 pm . . .

  188. off to the studio . . .

  189. Have a good day, Sher!

  190. Ouchy to zits in eyebrows…the only thing worse? One IN your nose.

  191. Welcome to the Newbies!!
    After reading through all the above posts since Friday all I have to say is my brain kept playing the soundtrack for what you all mean to me and it was that old song about how:

    “Tis a Gift to be Simple,
    Tis a gift to be FREE,
    Tis a gift to come round where you ought to be,
    To turn, to turn shall be our delight
    Until turning, turning, we come round right.”

    I have no control of my brain and very little censoring goes on up there…You all shine for me..thanks for being there all of you.
    Haven..I am in that formation Sher was talking about wherever you need me.
    Still hoping for positive things for Gigi
    Sher: Undies at home? I think not.
    George leaves me agog, just agog (and Magog too)
    Nora…your light is really really bright, I see it clearly from here.
    Molly Bug! I have your magnet here in my office..it says..DUDE-WTF!
    Steph and Kate and Maureen and Kittery and Amy and Particles and anybody else I am too scatterbrained to mention but love reading your stuff…LOL
    Lunchtime over. Too sad.

  192. See, now that song is stuck in my head for the rest of the day, I swear.
    Just like Molly.

  193. ~George, you are the greatest.
    ~ I adore the dentist for what it is. I mean, would I rather go to, say, the gyno than the dentist? It would be a toss up. But I like having squeaky clean teeth when I leave.
    ~Caryl, I believe you are a fan of The Office after reading your above comment. That is my 1001 reason to love you.
    ~ I emailed GfromG and haven’t heard anything back, here’s hoping she is okay.

  194. Yeah…as Sarah would say, let’s hold GfromG up to the love and light. Bug, too, root canal is never much fun.

    …that letter writer of last week, too. She needs a dose of good karma from this big, strong blog….maybe more than a dose…maybe a transfusion!

    Sher: Hope your open house was not good, but GREAT, Linda’s description sounded like it was.

    Carrie: what about that good good news?

    Caryl and Brenda: glad my perversity gave you a chuckle…I really do like it when my dentist gives me an earful! I try to come in with at least one cavity during each of my checkups.

    Suzanne: thanks, and you know why.

    Jenny: Who is James Frey? Didn’t he used to be a writer?

  195. BrendaQD, that was a sweet song. Thank you!

    George, James Frey was a writer. He wrote a memoire about some personal travails that turned out to be a bit, um, exaggerated.

    Note that I was not making such comparison myself, but merely pointing out that Sher did.

    I, of course, was appalled.

  196. James Frey claimed to have root canals and all manner of horrifying dental work done sans numbing or anything (because he was a recovering addict) . . . that is about where I divorced myself from his book (about 1/3 the way through) . . . this was while it was still a ‘hit’ from Oprah and before the fall out . . . it never rang true or hit me anywhere in my heart or soul . . . that is a good indicator for me!

  197. my bizarre collection of friends saturday night . . . somebody said I was a ‘collector of people’ . . . that was fun!

    Linda – I just opened my hostess gift from you – oo la la – I am so excited! And you chose those things BEFORE you saw my house??? To all – 3 amazing handcrafted birie windchimes . . . in my colors . . . adorably artsy!

    I think they will go right outside the studio door so I can hear them while I work

  198. James Frey…I remember all that now. He was a lyin’ sumbitch and I basically wrote him off as the revelations came off.

    Geez, Sher, hope I wasn’t channeling him.

    That said, all the nitrous I’ve huffed was no where near a dentist’s office.

  199. I believe my boyfriend/traveling companion (George) was being ironical. :)

  200. Darn…George was posting just as I was!

  201. What fun…thanks y’all, I just got home and got to listen to all the youtube stuff you had posted ’cause I’m home and not at work so no i.t. nazi’s here!! Loved them.
    Gotta go make my mom a lanyard. :-)

  202. Vannie:
    No, I was lying, in which case, I guess I was channeling the esteemed fictionalist, Mr. Frey.

  203. George, I got the distinct impression that no-one really thought you were anything like James Frey. That’s what made the comparison so funny.

    Steph, I was watching the Yanks/Sox game, too, and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I used to live in Boston and loved the Sox while I was there. I never could quite forgive them for getting rid of Nomar, however.

    My great-grandfather played in the major leagues from 1923-1924, and he once brought Babe Ruth home for dinner. My grandfather was a little boy at the time and his primary memory of that dinner is that “Babe Ruth sure ate a lot for a guest.”

  204. Jenny: you’re right…I can’t resist a bit of self-deprecation.

    that WAS a heck of game. God I love the sox.

  205. I WOULD love them if I weren’t still missing Garciapara and a bit suspicious of ‘you kill us,’ who looks like the kind of person who spends his free time wearing a white hood.

  206. Steph,

    Thanks for letting us know how you were feeling last night, and that you’re okay after your dentist appointment. How’s now? I’m so sorry things got so hard in the hours leading up to it– the salutary effects of Ellsbury’s steal and the Sox win notwithstanding! Thanks again for posting that link.

    A couple years back I had six root canals and crowns, with fittings, etc. in succession, requiring a steady stream of 11 1-to-2 hour appointments by the time everything was taken apart and fitted back together. Everything took longer because I have significant jaw troubles that needed to be taken into account. There’s a fair chance I’ll need to have the rest of my teeth redone over time, in balanced sets, in hopes of preserving them and further stabilizing my fragile jaw.

    I wanted to post something encouraging for you last night, but ended up sitting here stricken all over again, my hand over my mouth (literally and figuratively). Not much help, that! I am glad others stepped up to the plate on your behalf.

    My one bit of practical advice: if you ever have even the slightest sense that an endodontist is upset with your primary dentist and wants to prove a point to him, with you being Exhibit A? Do not let him near your mouth with his ice-cold cotton swabbie thing. Trust me on this one.

    I hope you’re feeling better, all the way around.

    ~ S.

  207. BrenQD, you are so sweet and i love that song.

    George: i, too, love the sox (do i bring them up a lot?) they just won again. oh, and yes-the only nitrous i have been involved with was recreational and certainly not at the dentist. and upon reading up on the blog, i came across the fact that your dentist is well endowed. unfortunately, my dentist is also busty, but male. so it is GROSS, not even a little hot. but if he were a she-it wouldn’t be so bad at all.

    sarah: you are a brave woman who must be made of steel or something stronger. my jaw is killing me, but the relief from the nerve pain is amazing. i hope your teeth get better. i still don’t get why we need nerves in them. my tongue can tell me what temp my beverage/food is. i even asked the dentist–he launched into a way bigger explanation than i was prepared for–of course, i couldn’t talk back as i had a “dental dam” in my mouth. anyway, nerves grow in utero and then your teeth know where to come in–he could have just said that.

    vanessa: thanks for the advice, i only had one moment of lurching, screaming pain. seriously, i jumped and almost knocked whatever horrible drill the dentist was holding

    jenny: i said this once, and i will say it a million times more: I LOVE THE RED SOX. love them. i am sorry to say, i was so sad when nomar left–but then we won. i am torn there. my brother cannot believe i gave up on “nomah hit a homah”–we still fight about it. i have read a lot about nomar’s whiney ways, injuries, etc. i dunno. i am quick to turn–call me fickle–i love baseball for baseball–not money. manny being gone is A-OK with me. and johnny damon can eat a fart. i love that he was the final out in the sweep yesterday. working on not being so vengeful :)

    sher: zit eyebrows kill, kate: nose ones too. i especially hate a zit IN my ear and—this one is new as of last week–directly on my bra line under my armpit. awful.

    and to everyone who loves the dentist, i am in awe. you go.

    linda, you are an example of a life changed and setting the example for your children. i am proud of you for your sobriety and your kids rock. i mean it–you are a GREAT mom and have given your kids the gift of you. my husband will be sober 3 yrs on july 13 and i am acutely aware of just what a gift he has given himself and our family.

  208. total joke George . . . it was the no pain killer/dentist connection ONLY . . .

  209. So I have 2 funny dental things.

    1.) I had to have my impacted bottom wisdom teeth removed when I was 18 or 19. As the doctor was trying to fit his hands et al in my mouth, he huffed a bit, stared down at me in frustration and said, “You have the smallest mouth I have ever seen on a grown woman.”

    Ask Amber. And any Baby who met me in Durham. I do not have a small mouth (a little, weird, squeaky voice maybe, but not a small mouth).

    2.) Nitrous + Demerol = great. They told me to bring a CD player, so I didn’t have to listen as they drilled and cut and ripped and vacuumed, so I did. I brought one of my favorite shows Into The Woods. I plugged it in, put on the mask, and about 10 minutes later, started singing along. With the dental dam in my mouth. And the doctor’s hands. And the drill. He told me to stop, and I agreed. Then I started to hum. Then I started to sing. Again.

    The doctor and I had this “fight” for a good 2 hours.

    It’s hard to stop me from singing SOBER. It’s something else together when drugged. Or drunk. Just ask Amber. I was on my VERY best behavior in Durham in Kate/Sher’s room. lol.

    Ok. I have to go to bed. But I will leave you with this last youtube. It’s one of my favorite TV moments of all time, and my nephew Liam and I sing this to one another frequently.

    I honestly can’t say how much I miss my sister’s boys.

    BUT. It’s a happy youtube! Enjoy! Sleep well (whenever you lay your heads down!)

    Love you!

  210. hmm, where the link should be above is a big blank space…

  211. And there it is again.

    I give up! :) Good night, you queens/kings of New England etc!

  212. GEORGE
    Your Sox are dirty and they will have to contend with the Tigers

    Its almost all we have left for this summer in Michigan and we are cornered nimals here.

    once upon a time someone said
    “I am not afraid of you and I will kick your ass”

    But since I know we would have a really good time together I will get you a ticket if you want to come

    See your Sox June 2-4

  213. GEORGE
    Your Sox are dirty and they will have to contend with the Tigers

    Its almost all we have left for this summer in Michigan and we are cornered animals here.

    once upon a time someone said
    “I am not afraid of you and I will kick your ass”

    But since I know we would have a really good time together I will get you a ticket if you want to come

    See your Sox June 2-4

  214. I am mad my link never showed up.

    It was Bert and Ernie “Dance Myself to Sleep.” If you need a giggle, then you should youtube that. It’s darling.

  215. Later today there will be a slide show of the official White House photographer’s work of the Obama’s first 100 days in office . . .

    http://www.whitehouse.gov not sure what time it is being posted though

    I made the mistake while searching that of reading a proported ‘headline’ and read “Why does my sweat smell like cheese?”

    I hereby rest my case. Ubiquitous ‘news’ holds no interest to me, it actually sucks the brain cells, of which I hold dearly.

  216. MichaelT, i like the tigers, but the sox are not dirty. they are dirt dogs.

  217. ALL: Our friend Amy, the Girl from the Ghetto, is having a really tough time. Let’s try to send her some blog karma, love, and light. Here’s what she wrote: http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com/

    MichaelT: The Sox are sublime and will prove it in June. But in all honesty, I am glad to see the Tigers as tough as they are. Detroit needs some sort of uplifting, for God’s sake. I have a special place in my heart for Detroit. My family was among the thousands of hillbillies who migrated up there in the 40s and 50s in search of work. I remember going to Kindergarten there. Also, one of the best books I have ever read, The Dollmaker, by Harriett Arnow, was set in Detroit. I think Harriett is one of the best and most uncelebrated American writers. Unfortunately and unfairly, she is now generally dismissed by scholars as a “regional” writer.” That would be like saying Faulkner is a regional writer. Dollmaker is great and her other major book, Hunter’s Horn, is mythic. When it comes to rendering Appalachian characters, she is unparalleled, more complex than Erskine Caldwell’s people of Tobacco Road or God’s Little Acre. I do think she influenced Sharyn McCrumb, however, who is the finest writer of Appalachia.

    (Gack, where did that rant come from?)

  218. George…

    I discovered last night that your Durham friend Jeffry’s daughter Emily is a friend of my daughter Kate’s!

    We were driving down Chapel Hill Road to Thrift World (one of our regular mother/daughter stops) and I pointed out Jeffry walking to his new/old greenhouse, and she said yeah, that’s Emily’s Dad…

    Turns out she is a Friend’s schooler like my kids…Since everyone at CFS is on a Quakerly first name basis, from the Principal to the three year olds, it’s entirely possible for a parent to know who someone is for years without actually tuning in to what their last name is!

    Kate says she is a really cool girl.

  219. Nora: When I think of the most compassionate, human, loving acts that I have ever witnessed, it was this one:

    Jeff and his family were up in DC visiting me and my family. That whole week, my son had what I now think is Legionnaires disease or diphtheria, but at the time I was calling it the puke cough.

    He was about nine, old enough to be dazzled by the coolness and beauty of Em, who was about 13.

    Anyway, we go to this restaurant in Old Town. My son is trying so hard to be so cool himself. Then he goes into a coughing fit and hurls all over the table.

    We all explode from our chairs, trying to get out of the way…by then, my son, a mess of vomit and tears because he was so embarrassed, bolts into the bathroom.

    I start mopping up and apologizing to the other diners. My son, sticks his head out of the bathroom and says, “Dad.”

    Em says to me: “I’ll go in there.”

    A few minutes later, they come out. My son is cleaned up and frankly, Em is looking a bit on the green side herself.

    He sits down and immediately buries his face in his arms, but Em sits down right next to him and throws an arm over his shoulders and says stuff that makes him chcukle, then giggle, then laugh out loud.

    I am telling you, Nora, that at the moment, my heart was breaking for my son, but it was also breaking from easily one of the most selfless, gutty, compassionate, sweet, and thoroughly human acts I have ever seen.

    ———

    I really wanted to get down to Durham and see the greenhouse, the blog sisters, and, of course, Haven.

    ———

    The friend’s school sounds like a great place for kids. My oldest son went to a Quaker day care in his formative years and he is so much more a true peacenik than I’ll ever be since I am just another redneck hippie like a lot of ‘em are down there.

    ———

    Another argument to move to Durham. If I could work for The Sun magazine and get paid decently, it would sure be enticing.

  220. What a sweet(and messy) story!

    And (not to take away from Emily’s unique wonderfulness) SO like the majority of the
    lovely humans that are nurtured at Carolina Friends School…

    Most of the children I have looked after in my home based daycare have either been staff children, or future students, and I’ve been one lucky woman to have such people around me all these (27!) years. I guess I qualify as Quaker daycare! Lots of consensus, conflict resolution, and looking for the light going on with me and my babies!

    Durham is Nothing if not Eclectic…Plenty of room for the redneck hippie and the peaceniks alike! I myself try to spend equal time in both camps…

    The Sun!!
    Part of the fabric of life! Always seems to be on the verge of extinction, but still truckin…

  221. Oh yes…and I LOVE The Dollmaker…
    Don’t know why I’ve not read Hunter’s Horn, but I will now!

  222. Nora: The Hunter’s Horn — to me, anyway — is the hillbilly version of Moby Dick. I have always loved Harriett Arnow. Sometimes The Sun is a bit too heavy for me, I will admit this. …and truly, Durham is eclectic. I have always thought I could auger into some sort of a niche down there, but never been able to find it.

    My mother watched kids for a living…she would have never called it daycare, but that’s what it was. She did it for about 30 years, too. Maybe more. No telling how many kids have come through her house. At one point she was watching the children of children she had watched. I am in awe of her and all the lives she has shaped.

  223. Nora. I keep meaning to get in touch with you, everyday when I am on here catching up I leave with you on my mind. Perhaps your ears were burning this weekend..I was with Suzanne and speaking of you with such reverence, I missed you at once. You are a treasure and one of my biggest delights while in Durham.

  224. Just came back into the room from tucking up my kids for a nap, and now am flushed with a rosy glow due to Caryl’s oh my goodness life affirming praise…

    It puts negative stressful worries about swine flu, universal health care and what to make for dinner in perspective to hear someone you respect speak so sweetly about one’s self.

    Golly

  225. I just had an epiphany – am working on the EAT YOUR WORDS installation today and it is rather upsetting, so I read back to some sweet and nice postings where people were nice to me or someone else and I have decided to do the yin-yang piece for it . . .

    YOU CAN EAT IT TOO – it will be a fabulous paper mache cake covered in ‘heartsweetening’ words . . .

    so now all you NICE/sweet people get to be a part of that piece !!!!

  226. Everybody’s ears were burning this weekend – Linda and I probably made everybody sick talking about our wonderful BB’s . . . and they were jealous, too!

    But your ours, all ours! You are like the little nest in the tree outside my window that I get to peak in on and cheep, cheep with and I just want to crawl right in and share your worms!

  227. You Can Eat It Too will be a perfect psyche balancing statement! For you as well as your audience…

    Maybe some worms on the cake?

  228. So last night I had the oddest dream that I must share.
    I found myself in a huge room filled with all kinds of paper and paints, aisles and aisles of them. Haven was there and I ran over to her because I was finally able to meet her. I kept hugging her, just completely gushing over her and then I realized we were supposed to be in Sher’s studio!
    I dream of the blog babies! Amazing.

  229. Sher- seriously, sometimes I don’t want to tell people about this site, purely out of selfishness. Is that bad? I will tell them about Haven’s books all day and night, but mention this blog? Not so much.

  230. Ha – Linda, it is true! Let them find us on their own. I once told somebody about it then made them promise not to get on there, because this was my “SAFE” place. Luckily that person can barely turn their lights on, let alone find an author’s blog . . . I hope!

    worms on the cake, maybe I will put worms in the apples on EAT YOUR WORDS . . . the cake is going to be a thing of beauty and joy . . .

    A in O – I hope that was not only a dream, but a foretelling . . . you and Haven and any blog babies, in my studio – oh yes . . . and Linda can tell you there are WALLS of paper and paints in there!

  231. I must must get back to work my dears . . . only a bit before the babies get home . . .

  232. I meant the worms you want to share with the blogbaby birds in the nest outside!

    Not icky bad worms!

    I see the difficulty in representing this good worms vs. bad worms concept though!

  233. Sher- tell everyone about your piece you are getting ready to send out. The one with the pill bottles covered with cloth because as you can see I cannot do it justice. Y’all- it is divine. Something you could look at for hours and continue to find something new you did not see before. Sher is a genius, I tell you. Talk about making lemonade from lemons. Sher can make diamonds from mud. That was a pretty pitiful analogy but you get the idea.

  234. “Sher can make diamonds from mud”-I love that Linda!

  235. oh – my . . . everybody, if you go to my blog (click my name above my comment) and look for TAKE CARE Exhibition, my piece is “Coping Skills” that is what Linda is talking about . . .

    Oh my.

    BB’s if you did not receive an email from me today, please send me one so I have your email address . . . I am trying to compile a somewhat updated list of BB’s names, addresses, real names, blog addresses, contact . . . then I will share it with everybody . . .

    I have 5 million emails that go to one account, but you can use:

    sher dot fick at yahoo dot com
    or
    sherfickart at gmail dot com

    um, I’m supposed to be working . . . oops

  236. Just because we all love our books:

    I hope the link works.
    More later when I have time to catch up on your comments. ;-)

  237. see…my attempt to paste a youtube link in here did the same thing Bug’s did? DUDE!!??


  238. okay, go to youtube and key in first i.t. and it’s the one about the monks transitioning from scrolls to books and needing i.t. help with the book…made me laugh. I watched it 4 times. Anyone figured out why it’s doing that?
    I posted it on my facebook site, which I am almost able to do without i.t. help.

  239. Hello all!

    I’m so far behind, I was just able to catch up with everyone.

    I know I’m late, but I have a dentist story! I had a filling on Thursday, and my brain was telling me that I was fine, it didn’t hurt, and I wasn’t scared, but my body didn’t listen and I was SHAKING in the chair. Lol, I feel like a total nutcase. More evidence to the fact, my shoulder started to hurt on Sunday night (from sleeping wrong or something) and I reached over with my right hand to massage it.

    I immediately flashed back to age 12, making the same motion for the same pain (localized in left shoulder only) and finding a lump by my collarbone. So all day yesterday I was a basket case. Every little thing made me tear up and I KNEW I was overreacting.

    Apparently, sometimes self awareness isn’t enough.

    What’s up with the YouTube links?

  240. Hey babies~
    I just heard from our beloved Girl from the Ghetto and she asked that I pass on that SHE HAS GOOD NEWS!
    She didn’t elaborate on that as she is exhausted, but I wanted to share as I know we are all praying for her and sending healing vibes her way.
    Um hello people, I think we can literally perform miracles here.

  241. Alright, I am off to watch my boyfriend Adam Lambert shake his groove thang.

  242. I am exhausted and may not even be able to make it through American Idol. Saw the WORLD’S LEADING EXPERT in Dysautonomia today, praise the lord. Will expand later, must get offline immediatly… good news, not the chronic autoimmune kind. Hope all of you are ok and thanks to EVERYONE whoes emailed, commented here or on my own blog. Love you guys but I need my bed NOW!

  243. brenda, steph, michael t, dee, shanna, amber, sarah, vanessa,and all you I can’t think of because my brain is burned by melting wax . . . some of you are on facebook, but I am really wanting those email contacts . . . really! I BEG you! And I promise, only good things will come to you ;)

  244. Adam Lambert . . . makes me wiggle

  245. dog diggity . . .

    I am all about the self-awareness sometimes, being overrated (all things in moderation you know!) and

    YIPPE FOR OUR GIGI! and, yes, we daily create miracles here!

  246. So glad to hear good news for Mizz Thang, GiGi!

  247. Sher, I emailed!

  248. okee dokey Amber . . .

  249. And I’m feelin gooooood, I love him, I really do.
    I need to figure out how to make Mr. Adam Lambert my best friend…hmmm…..
    I’m off to bed you wonderful people, early morning tomorrow.

  250. Amy in Oh – we can no longer tutor young men . . . it is a sad thing, I think. Is 16 the legal age???

  251. Sher, I emailed, too.

    I laughed when you called Adam “my boyfriend,” since that is exactly what I call him, too.

    As you can see, he and I are on a first-name basis.

    Really, though. I haven’t seen anyone this talented in such a long, long, time. He’s this wonderful cross between Elvis and Freddy Mercury (from Queen) and Rob Halford (from Judas Priest). Halford, by the way, Mr. Judas Priest himself, had a 5-octave range that puts some opera stars to shame!

    AND, he was the first metal god to come out of the closet, which was an extremely brave thing for him to do while working that venue. Ironic that so many overly-macho, homophobic metal acts followed in his footsteps, never knowing WHY they were wearing make-up and leather pants.

    But my, my, my, Adam Lambert is something to watch.

    Do you think he’d be nice to have dinner with, though? I can’t quite make up my mind.

  252. Adam post meant for Amy in Ohio.

  253. Goodnight, everyone.

    I hope I’m not talking too much.

    Sweet dreams.

  254. Since we’re doing youtube here’s 10 books reviewed by a guy who drinks too much caffeine.

  255. Sher, I emailed also.
    Spirit! how did you attach the youtube?
    And the Spirit Bless GIGI.
    Goodnight sweet princes and princesses.

  256. Spirit
    Who is that speed review guy? I love him! How do I get it?

    Haven
    What is going on? You left your baggie of milk chocolate devils over here. I’m going to post the photo of you from last winter in my kitchen. In it you are wearing your Elvis Costello-y reading glasses, pink pajamas, and that hat I crocheted when I was nine. You have that look. Would that work as an intervention?

  257. SHER
    its michaelterryjr@hotmail.com

    Girl from the Ghetto my heart is with you. You are Salt of the Earth and you are loved.

    George thanks I will check that out on amazon.
    I truly wish we could go to a game together on a nice warm Sat afternoon with a couple hotdogs and maybe a brew or 3. I thought you lived out east… are you in chicago ?
    My stepfather was from the “hills” near lawerenceburgh TN and moved up here in the 60’s for work as well now I am thinking about moving south for work
    just another cyclical situation I suppose.
    I only have net access on sun mon and tue until I replace my PC that has burned up the mothership.
    I shall return on Monday eve.

    Again all my hopes girl from the ghetto

  258. I had to post this movie by my son. I think it’s brilliant, but of course I’m the mom.

    http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.wordpress.com/movies-by-lyle/

  259. So I go to my class last night and because I was sick one day and PUT A HOLE IN MY FOOT (perhaps you remember) another day, I have to write thir really long paper due today at 5. I got 2000 words last night but I had to quite at 1.30 because I get up at 5.15. WAAAAAAAAAH.

    Ok. Enough whining.

    GiGi–love and prayers, love and prayers. Looking forward to an update.

    Dianedear–hey! Looking forward to that picture!

    Everybody–you rock. Just saying. Maybe you forgot, but you are awesome. I hope you have a good days. Those of you one your way to bed, please send a couple of hours to me! Perhapsh we could time/sleep-share? PLease?

    LOVE YOU!

  260. back up for a bit you can have the next couple hours of sleep I am missing Molly

  261. diannedear,

    That’s Hank Green his brother John Green writes YA novels. They became youtube famous when they decided to communicate a whole year via video blogs. They would take turns; one day John would do one and the next day Hank would respond. It was actually brilliant marketing for John Green’s books. They have legends of fans all over the world. They call themselves “The Vlog Brothers” and started a grassroots movement to embrace nerdiness called, “Nerdfighters.” Hank writes really funny songs, I think I posted one months ago called “People who Love Giraffes who love Giraffes”.

    Here they are: Warning you could end up watching videos for hours.

    ttp://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers

  262. Oops! My crazy keyboard erased the h

    http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers

  263. Michael- George lives in Alexandria, VA, just across the river from D.C.

  264. Well, I woke up sobbing AGAIN — this is how long now, eight years? I have no concept of time — and then I read as many of these posts as I could and realized, Jesus, look what’s happening to Gigi, and Mollie endured one of my worst fears in the world — dental pain — OH BUT DO I HAVE A STORY ABOUT WHAT I DID ONCE IN A DENTAL CHAIR, O LAWD — and I’m still sobbing because what happened between me and my former friend is unfathomable. It simply can’t have occurred, I’ve tried SO HARD. And I understand attacking someone for doing something TO YOU, but attacking someone for doing her WORK TOO HARD??? And in the meanest possible way? I know I should shut up about it and stop crying about it but it just makes me want to hurl like George’s son, and I’m the only Quaker in the house so I’d just have to clean it up myself. Of course the dogs would eat it but then I’d just throw up again.

    You all are LIFE SAVING TO ME. I mean that.

  265. We love you, Haven!

  266. I love you back, Linda.

  267. XOXOXOXOX Haven!

  268. Haven- my daughter have chosen Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota for her undergraduate education. I have never been to Minnesota. Ever. But, Garrison Keilor is from there so it must be ok. Lots of Lutherans, yes? And, Unitarians, it seems. :)

  269. Haven – Oh, do not cry! We love you!

    To maybe help, here is an excerpt from A Not Entirely Benign Procedure by Perri Klass, who had written these wonderful essays about Harvard Med School and then someone started sending her anonymous letters accusing her of PLAGIARIZING what had been her own personal medical-school experience. She is upset by this but finds solace in Dorothy Parker’s book Gaudy Night when the heroine finds an unpleasant drawing:

    “It was neither sane nor healthy; it was, in fact, a nasty, dirty and lunatic scribble.
    “Harriet stared at it for a little time in disgust, while a number of questions formed themselves in her mind. Then she took it upstairs with her into the nearest lavatory, dropped it in and pulled the plug on it. That was the proper fate for such things, and there was an end of it.”

    If this fails to soothe, may I suggest Kate Bush singing “Big Sky”?

  270. Linda-

    (I’ve been blurking again here)

    I have been to Minnesota many times and I have even seen the Carleton campus in Northfield…it is beautiful! My brother-in-law lived in Northfield for a time (pre-family connections) and a friend from my Youth Group at church (Presbyterian) in high school went there for college. I am sure she made an outstanding choice, but she probably cannot take too many warm clothes! Brrrrrr… Minnesotans are unfailingly nice, liberal, polite, hard-working with great imaginations and a lot of creativity (it helps in surviving those winters!) I hope she loves it!

  271. And please don’t cry, Haven…well, actually do it if it makes you feel better (sometimes that happens), but the cretin who wrote you such a horrible thing does not deserve to have that power over your life. I cannot imagine ever saying such things to ANYONE as they did to you…how disturbed they must be.

  272. Maureen- YES! Right from the start I thought the best place for that letter was in the toilet!

  273. haven,

    “if you’re blessed with a talent, utilize it to the fullest, be true to yourself and stay humble” -gift of gab

    you are. you do. and you are a great mother, wife, friend, PERSON.

    xo, steph

  274. It seems like I should be able to do Something to Help, being just minutes away…
    (Except here and now I will admit that I Do Not Drive. I am unAmerican, I know…But I have accommodating children…)

    If you need to throw up, I could be available for clean up, being a sort of a Quaker. As a person who spends her days with 0-5 year olds, I am used to the products of the bodily functions.

    I could bake you a pound cake and leave it on the porch…

    Do your grocery shopping for you…

    Plant a tree in your honor…

    Organize a candlelight vigil outside the House of the Enemy…

    I’m going for trying to make you laugh…But I am holding your metaphorical hand also…

    I have a little book called The Centering Book: Awareness Activities for Children, Parents, and Teachers…(got it at a Durham Friends Meeting yard sale). It says:

    Side-Stepping Negative Energy

    Young people receive a lot of verbal hostility from parents, teachers and peers. Hardly a day passes in which someone doesn’t tell them to sit down, shut up, eat their beans, go jump in a lake, or not to do that again as long as they live. Often, these demands are made in angry and hurtful ways.

    It helps to regard anger as negative energy. Some types of negative energy are best side stepped. For example, the negative energy of a bullet is better ducked than confronted. The best way to defend against a hostile attack is to step aside and let the attacker fall on his face through his own negative energy. This way is best because it requires us to expend much less energy than we would if we resisted and fought back. If we resist, we are likely to “catch” the force of his negative energy, and we must then do something with this force. Most often. we throw it back in the form of our own negative energy Then we are responding on the same level as our attacker, which makes it possible we will be defeated.

    Things to do when people say bad things to you:

    Imagine the bad thing is like a breeze that you can feel go by you.

    Imagine the bad thing is like an arrow that sails by as you step aside.

    Ask,” Are you sure you’re mad at the right person?”

    Say, “It hurts when I get yelled at.”

    For the very youngest children, Imagine you are a duck, and the bad thing is water that rolls off your back.

    Anything I can REALLY do, just ask…

  275. How is your mouth feeling today, Steph?

  276. Haven–

    It’s funny how you just break down,
    Waiting for some sign
    I pulled up to the front of your drive way
    Magic soaking my spine

    Can you read my mind?
    Can you read my mind?

    A little song of love.

  277. NoraBarnacles. I wish you were near by to me too.

  278. Sherrill – that was heavenly – it is printable and saveable! Wow.

    Haven Kimmel.
    Perhaps I need to drive to Durham, somehow bypass the tricky gate, jump over Iorek, crawl through your vintage window .. . . all to take you by your shoulders (even though thou art 3 ft. taller than I) and say, perhaps I need to get on a chair and look you in the eye . . .

    “This is not something your INTELLECT can wrap around, so stop it. It cannot be reasoned out because it is unreasonable. To move on you must accept, as difficult as it is – SHE MEANT YOU HARM. She intended to hurt you. Stop trying to make sense of it. This is her f#*$) up issue – whose core is mostly judgment, sabotage, and jealousy. Actually think of it as a compliment – she is so torn up by your success that she has to attempt to place you LOWER THAN HERSELF. Also, she was a bitch and a snot to all of us blog babies . . . very condescending and sending out messages of “HAVEN, BELONGS TO ME.’ I was offended. And she has really bad taste in clothing, so come on . . . shoulders squared, Zippy. What would Zippy do????”

    Hum, apparently that was a rant and I doubt if it was constructive.

    Also, I followed this posting “how is your mouth feeling?” which just made me giggle.

  279. linda, thanks for asking! much better!!! no more nerve pain. my jaw was sore yesterday, but NOTHING like the pain i was experiencing beforehand…it was not fun though :) i have to go back for some “sculpting” next week. then probably a crown a few weeks after that.

  280. How is your mouth feeling today, Sher? LOL

  281. Apparently Sam and Lauren are now friends on Facebook. :)

  282. Linda, my mouth is in pain because I have been gritting my teeth over this thing with Haven’s Enemy of the Soul. I am giving myself a headache, no kidding.

    Oh yeah – Sam and Lauren . . . 8)

  283. Maureen? Score!!!!! Love the toilet story!

  284. Sherril…POUND CAKE. Definitely.

  285. I can add sugared strawberries and homemade whipped cream with a dash of vanilla to the pound cake . . .

    then we would have some great strawberry shortcake!

  286. I confess. I have been unfaithful. I attended a book club with LIVE PEOPLE last night. By a weird set of circumstances, I cyber-met a woman who works at Colgate who invited me to join her Catholic women’s book club. I was so stinkin’ happy after spending time with all of you guys in Durham that I realized how starved I was for actual physical friends (I have none in Chenango County – it’s why my sister must move here).

    So, I went and they were a lovely group of women but not nearly as outrageously outrageous, bold, funny, creative, and intelligent as you guys.

    So, no danger. They don’t measure up to what we have here … (leans back against pillow, takes a leisurely puff of post-coital cigarette)

  287. Since we are youtube festing: I must send you this, along with the note. This is from Joey Piscopo, the son of my dear friend, Nancy Hayes (and, yes, Joe Piscopo) . . .

    Hey hey-
    Here’s the next installment of ridiculocity courtesy of The Gee Company-

    What’d ya get when you mix two parts Osama Bin Laden with one part Howard Stern? THE TERRORIST HOWARD STERN.
    Let us know what you think!

    Also, thanks again to everyone who voted for ShamWow on atom.com!
    We just signed the distribution contracts with Atom. The sketch should be on Comedy Central in a week or so.
    We’ll let you know!

    Thanks,
    Joey P

    Hope this works for you all . . . Sham Wow guy is great, too

  288. Molly, from the first contact with you, I’ve felt the instinct that it would be a nice thing to have you nearby…I have pretty strong feelings that you are sort of daughterly in my mind, and I would pick you out to be a friend with my own sweet Kate, as she has sometimes struggled with the female friend concept,had some bad luck with less-than truehearted girls…Your true heart is clear and obvious.

    I think I am finding myself getting comfortable with a kind of mom role here too…being a bit older than most of you, and watching you going through some of the stages of life that I have gone through (young children, teenagers, new relationships, career choices, etc.). Often when you are all cavorting and commiserating with each other, I feel a fondness and desire to nurture you all like a mom…

    Not that I suffer from ageism! In my Real Other Life, I am close to people of many different ages, and I believe I can feel motherlike, and still be a regular friend also! Maybe this can be my contribution to our collective web of familyness and wellbeing.

  289. Maureen – it hurts to laugh because I have given myself a headache . . . but LOL . . . I could only picture the AIRPLANE scene where the pilot lights a cigarette after the blowup doll . . .

    Honk, snort, laugh

  290. Yippee Sherrill, I do that mother hen thing too . . . I feel I am in my ‘coming into my crony stage’ – even though I have young kids, etc. but my soul, it is old and I hope, wise beyond my physical years . . . I think I have packed 150 years (and many lifetimes) of experience into the wee 41 years I have this lifetime.

    Not that I can’t be an idiot in my own life, mind you . . . ok . . . off to refill my migraine prescription before I am rolling on the floor in a ball . . . .

  291. NoraSherrill – Ah, a mom-away-from-mom! I am always seeking one. I also accept you as peer and friend, with great gladness.

    Sher – Don’t you love Airplane? Cracks me up EVERY TIME. So I am on this Kate Bush blitz, and I just downloaded the piano sheet music to “And Dream of Sheep”. I hope your migraine meds work fast!

    Off to get Tristan …

  292. Hi Blog Babies, I’ve been lurking and listening to all of you over the past few months while I was in Europe and other parts unknown. My work overseas was wonderful and horrible depending on the day and the country. I’m really just glad to be back.

    We now have at least 3 Amys and some new friends here, so I’ve changed my WordPress name from Amy to Amy in CA to make it easier to differentiate between me and my smart, adorable sister Amy in Ohio.

    I’m compelled to post today about the hateful comments from Haven’s former friend. Haven, I think this is so difficult for you because the normal human reaction is “oh yeah, well your Mother’s ugly and wears army boots”. I saw above that you sort of got that one out of your system. Most people would be content with that. But not you. Damn your big heart and brain.

    So here’s my two cents. This woman is hurting deeply and striking out at you over bitterness, envy, self-hatred . . who knows what. I’m echoing Sher and others here. Seeing you on stage, meeting some of your ‘fan club’, watching your adoring husband and children, it just put her over the edge and she reacted horribly and in a way that she knows she can never come back from. As much as you are hurting I can only imagine what she is going through. You have an embarrassment of riches. She is ill. Forgive her with love. She doesn’t deserve forgiveness or love and probably wouldn’t ask for it. Give it anyway. And never let her near you again because your Quaker heart does not need any more of this crap.

  293. HAVEN!! LOL LOL LOL
    My suggestion is that you go right ahead and throw up and then clean it all up in your Quakerly manner into a nice little package and SEND IT to your ex-friend.
    I’ll be more than happy to send you a decorative little box just for this purpose.

  294. a mom-away-from-mom ?
    by far the Funniest thing I’ve heard in a month of Sundays…

    Doesn’t it feel SO good to just laugh out loud?
    (note to self…do this more often!!)

  295. Frova . .. yeah baby, just an hour of feeling like Ihave the swine flu/or pregnant and ta da . . . I feel almost human again

  296. Technical Tip – free anti-virus for your home use computers at

    http://www.avast.com

    lots of my it friends use this . . . then do automatic updates . . .

    there are some bad viruses out there this week, they are now imbedding them in real/decent websites that then spread it even further.

  297. it = IT, as in techy….

  298. Sher – I’m with you. I broke the gold seal on an Imitrex (I am only allowed a certain number of doses per month) and now my head has shrunk back to normal size.

    In the spirit of youtube videos, I have to share this Kate Bush (yeah, I’m obsessed, it’s like a teenage girl crush). But this is such a happy song!

    Scream along with her at the end!

  299. Hahaha Maureen, I love the way you were, “Kate Bush what?!” at first and now you love her. :)

    This goes for anyone who is dealing with people who had parents that should have been spayed and neutered before they ever got a chance to reproduce their charming offspring: Some people are just damaged. For whatever reason, and they take great pleasure in trying to hurt others.
    Example A: the person that was lucky enough to be considered Haven’s friend (before) – damaged – absolutely no provocation and they spew poison.
    Example B: my ridiculous mother told me I was a psychopath yesterday. I think the word she was going for was sociopath, but I’m not entirely sure. Why? ‘Cause she’s damaged.
    It doesn’t do any good to listen to shit. None. It just hurts you, and what is the point of that?

    I’m ranting. Mainly ’cause I’m pissed and I can’t walk around with earbuds in my head constantly, but I’m doing my damndest.
    BUT my point is, there is some stuff that just doesn’t merit thinking about, believing, or even considering for a millisecond. Even when it comes from people that are supposed to love us. ‘Cause … love from damaged people isn’t really love. It’s more like headgames.
    Rant over. Hope it made some sense, at least.

  300. Hey guys, hey!! I just love reading all of your smart, witty comments. Mo, I loooooove the post coital cigarette comment…that is you at your finest my friend.
    Norabarnacles~ You are too good for words. How does one become such a good person? I need your handbook, truly I do.
    Hi Amy in CA!
    Molly, I just emailed you.
    I spent the day with insureds who lost their entire business/income to a fire. Yet, there were so sweet and positive. Really puts things into persepective..so having to count weight watchers points ( when I can barely add to boot) is really not that terrible.

  301. Oh Kittery~
    I am listening to The Other Boleyn Girl on CD and I think of you everytime I get into my car because it is such trashy “historical” fiction!

  302. Hah, Amy. I’ll try my best to give you something other than bitching to remember me by. ;)

  303. Haven, if you were in Ohio I would fix you a plate of really good cheese and fruit, and let you cuddle with my dogs.
    That there, is the solution TO ALL HORRIBLE THINGS in life.

  304. Kittery!!!! Stop it! I love you for many other reasons.

  305. Kittery –

    “Even when it comes from people that are supposed to love us. ‘Cause … love from damaged people isn’t really love. It’s more like headgames.”

    that is brilliant. wise. you have some head on your shoulders. yes. you must, always, consider the source.

  306. oh – cheese with honey and brown sugar . . .

  307. what i accomplished today.

    n.o.t.h.i.n.g.

  308. Thankee Sher. :)

    Amy? May I come to Ohio and eat cheese and fruit and cuddle with puppies? We can watch a *real* movie about the Boleyns/Tudors too. ;)

  309. I just read Brenda’s comment. Ok. Screw forgiveness. Sending vomit in a decorative container is much more festive and original.

  310. Kittery, I would be honored!
    Can you imagine sending someone vomit??? That would be awesome.

  311. Amy, I adore you.

  312. Vomit-O-Gram . . . you could make millions, I can contribute, I’m vomitous today

  313. Sher: I didn’t do shit today either except get in people’s way. I am soooooo distracted (in the throes of quitting smoking, inspired big time by our own Linda and others.) Thing is, I MUST focus; I HAVE to focus on a certain project. Ugh.

    Kittery: I get the feeling you are wise beyond your years. I talked to a friend of mine from when I lived up in The County. We both agreed that as much as we loved Maine, it was essential to the rest of our lives that we had left it.

    Brenda: I’m going to be veeeeeery careful when opening any package that may come from you.

    Nora: I think I am too old to have you playing the Mom role for me…maybe we could go for cousins or something like that?

  314. I love when conversations turn to vomit.

    Kittery, your “Thankee Sher” reminds me of The Dark Tower. Oh, how I wish I had never read them so that I could read them again for the first time.

  315. I have Celiac and can pretty much vomit at will.

  316. Amy in CA – yikes! I only get this way when pregnant or migrained.

  317. If I don’t eat wheat I’m fine. Too bad I didn’t have this when I was 13 and trying to ditch school!

  318. You can do it, George! Just say the serenity prayer over and over again. I know it sounds corny but it works. I did just that today in a staff meeting when I really wanted to smack several people upside the head one right after the other. But, I did not. Because I just took a deep breath and said
    God
    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    Seriously. It distracts me long enough to force me to breathe in and out and then I am ok. It helps me just let things go and those were the things that used to get me so stressed out that I drank.

    Well, just a suggestion, but I know you can stay quit, dear George.

  319. People who play headgames…*shakes head. I just don’t know how to. I’ve spent the last year thinking a lot about it because of Rob and trying to get over him and finding out the hard way that he was seeing someone else…and now me, with this new relationship thing? I find it all very confusing. I do not know how to be anything less than direct or to say “nothing” in that tone that means “Something” which, I think all of us ladies would agree, *really* is the same as being direct. lol.

    Kittery, I think there are damaged people whose love is worth having. Now, I am thinking specifically of some people who we’ve talked about in your life who suck, and you’re absolutely right about them. But, I think we can undo some of the damage THOSE ONES inflict by loving one another. I’m damaged, but I hope I don’t cause damage, and I work hard (feels like I am constantly working) to overcome the small cruelties I sometimes wish to commit like ignoring someone who needs me because I’m just tired of their shit.

    I loved AmyCa’s comments about forgiving despite the lack of asking. Good good advice, leading us back to the idea of the Lure to Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

    I loved AmyCA’s other comment even more about how sending vomit is original and festive.

    Also, AmyCa–it’s good to have you back.

    Norabarnacles, I once read an article in Cosmo that said younger women should cultivate relationships with older women because there’s so much to be learned from them and so much support to be had. I was like, “Um, you fucking think? Do women REALLY need to be told this?” lol. Thank you for your compliments. I mostly feel like a pretty mean person who fakes it a lot (like Haven, when I’m mad, my tongue is razor sharp). BUT if you do decide to publish your handbook to life, I’d like a copy. I know I could learn a lot. And you can be motherly if you like. :) I would love to be Kate’s friend too. She seemed such a beautiful soul. You’ve got my email.

    Kate, I’m talking Amber into bon bons at her house tomorrow. I just keep bombarding her with it. I put it in an email. I put it on a personal website her brother has for us. I’m about to go put it on her blog
    http://spilledpopcorn.com/blog/2009/04/. She has a foodprocessor, and I look forward to using the hell out of it tomorrow afternoon before we have Girls Night.

    Sher, I keep looking and looking at my encaustic. You are so Good. Thank you.

  320. Thank goodness, George, that Someone around these parts is too old for me to be their mother…notice, there’s a difference between BE their mother, and “mother them”.

    Sort of what Sher was getting at with the me too mother hen statement…when I was only 19 I made BLTs for all the hungry hippies on the front porch every night (the only thing I could cook then)…moved on to cooking lasagne in motel efficiency kitchens for
    my husband’s band, and embroidering their jeans while listening to their girlfriend woes…When I needed a way to support myself and my kids, I chose home daycare, to mother other people’s kids all day, and stay at home with mine…I’m a hopeless case!

    Good luck with the quitting George…

  321. Linda…

    You know, I’ve heard that serenity prayer so many times, like most people I guess, and maybe I sort of thought it was a little corny. But just now reading it in your post, it suddenly seemed really different and meaningful. Not to mention just the right length to give a person time to breath.

  322. HEY MY NEW AVATAR SHOWED UP AND MY YOUTUBE!!!!!!!!!!

  323. Amber: Dark Tower … Stephen King? Never read ‘em.. I may have to. :)

    George: I think you pretty much summed up Maine .. it’s beautiful, really, but .. a lifetime here? Oh boy.
    Also, I know the Serenity Prayer is popular (for good reason) but I always preferred the Desiderata (it’s a lot longer, so not quite as easy to recite, but ..) parts of that are just .. perfect.

    Molly: Absolutely loving other people makes it better. Why else are we all here? :) Also? Your new lemur ass is stupendous.

  324. Just because I don’t want to be the only I know with this burned into my brain all day…

  325. Nora: do you, by any chance, go to a reunion that is held there in the vicinity around Memorial Day? If so, there is a good chance we have met.

  326. dear haven, we will always stand by you

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741%3E

  327. Dee, I have seen that happen IN REAL LIFE!

  328. hi Linda! robert earl keen opened for dave either last year or the year before and we have LOVED him ever since! dmb was spectacular as usual but i was so impressed by the Avett Brothers – they are really amazing and SO FUN. Check ‘em out!
    hope Sam has/had a fab time at the show.

    sher – thank you again for the artwork. It’s on the top shelf of one of those ladder-type shelves in my bedroom and it sits on the top shelf. i love it and really appreciate your kindness and generosity.

    kate – haven’t forgotten about the care bears! I have cheer bear and grumpy bear. does Alice have those?

  329. Kim- REK opened for DMB for the Vandy concert too, but it was so early that I think the crowd was pretty small. Jason Mraz was the big draw as the next act. Sam enjoyed him. Apparently Dave played from 8:15 until 11:00 when they had to end the show because of an agreement Vanderbilt has with people living in the neighbhorhood next to the stadium. I am sure that is why Robert had to go out so early.

    Sam had a great time. He is going to see Deathcab for Cuties at the Ryman on Sunday. He has apparently inherited the live music bug from me. :)

  330. Kimbits…I LOVE the Avett Brothers. and am envious you got to see them live…I play them for my toddlers almost every day… Yea NC bands!!!

    Also really got a good feeling from your Stand by Me video…In light of recent conversations about age, and cross generational friendships, etc. that video was a great example of a couple of things I’ve been thinking about.

    One, music is not to be lived without, and not just from famous people either…you never know when the person you just passed on the street in downtown Durham might be an amazing talent who sings in church, or to friends on the porch or Susan Boyle…

    Two…You never know what that old geezer person standing in line with you at the grocery store taking forever did when she was a sprig of a girl…Danced on Broadway? Drove an ambulance in WWII? Bopped around in the mud with braids and bells in her hair at Woodstock? (personal information involved here)…

    Let’s give everyone the respect they Might deserve! we all have something to contribute!

  331. KIMBITS!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that remarkable video…who knows, it might be the pinnacle of my week (and I am having a damn good week already.)

    Nora: See my question to you above.

  332. so awesome.

  333. Kimbits…you rock!!!!

    Alice has cheer bear but NOT grumpy bear and OH YES, she needs him (Grumpy bear was always my favorite. What a weird kid!)

    katharinemckinney@gmail.com

  334. i dressed up as cheer bear and my sister as sunshine bear one halloween. my mom made the costumes. i am gonna see if i can find the pics and i still have the costumes!

  335. i found it. here is the facebook link:

    so funny.

  336. Those are so funny, and kind of scary. I love homemade costumes!

    Linus named sissy’s Cheerbear “Poot.”

  337. i used to have the live music bug, Linda, but now, dmb is my one big yearly music EVENT. every year. but i will go see them until i die or they break up which would be one sad day. it would be like haven ending this blog. but let’s not think about that…

    norabarnacle: AMEN. I loved what you said about music and the people we come in contact with everyday. i live in a small town now, but one of the things i miss most about living in a big city is the talent you would stumble upon every now and then just walking down the street. Are you in NC?(sorry if i have missed it… i can’t keep up) if so, Avett Bros. will be in charlotte in aug. (i think that’s what they said…i’m sure it’s on their website)

    sher, you are so right…and, you haven’t experienced dmb until you’ve seen boyd tinsley wiggle his ass while playing the violin so hard that you think it’s about to catch on fire.

  338. steph…off the charts cute factor alert
    one of the true areas that moms show their love…Halloween costumes!

  339. Kimbits… No problem with not keeping up…I sometimes wish we had a directory of where we all are!

    At the reading, I was sitting next to Sher, and I said to you behind us “Are you someone I should know?” which came out kind of rudely, but you didn’t seem to take it that way…I remember you said you are from Salisbury, which stuck in my mind because myexhusbandthedrummer grew up there, and he always used to make (I mean ask) me go to a diner there that he loved when we were passing anywhere near on band trips…I can’t remember the name of it, but there was a lighthouse involved in their logo I think…

    One more old person comment, and then I plan to retire(!) that subject for awhile…I don’t feel so comfortable going to live music so much anymore because I feel so conspicuous out among the youth…so many of the bands and people I like play in the small places around here like the Cat’s Cradle, etc. and I just don’t visually fit the demographic anymore (even though I have run the soundboard in most of the clubs around here, it was in a different era…I need to get more gutsy!

  340. And I forgot to say that yes! I live in Durham!

  341. George…
    I have been straining my brain since your post about the reunionish event you asked about, and I have the idea that it is a movable(secret location each year) get together that is by private invitation of people from the sixties with music involved that I am dimly aware of but have never attended and now wish I had so I could astoundedly find out that I had met you there!

    Is that anything like what you are talking about? I should have been paying more attention all these years!
    I called my exhusbandthedrummer to see what he remembers, and although he has gone several times, and played music there, he couldn’t remember what they call it…We are old hippies with many dead brain cells…

    If it is the same event! Now I am intrigued, so what else can you tell me about it?

  342. hmmm. i wonder if you’re talking about Beatty’s – retro 60s/70s, was famous for chicken livers & chicken pot pie night…closed now. i spent 4 yrs in chapel hill and miss this one place but i can’t remember the name of it which is driving me crazy. it was a tiny used bookstore with homemade baked goods, old board games, and they would have live music… it was kind of hidden and down a dead end alley. it’s probably not there anymore. afterall, that was in the 90s.

    i know what you mean though and truthfully, i just can’t take the smoke.

    george – you’re so sweet.

  343. Kimbits – You have made me smile so. I love this video!

    I first saw it because I was “stalking” my “celebrity boyfriend” on Twitter and he sent it out. He is Kevin Rose, founder of digg.com and I love him. He does not know I exist. *sigh*

    Ok, going to lay down… killer aches in the head.

  344. Kimbits…Skylight Exchange on Rosemary?

    Used to be the second incarnation of the Cat’s Cradle(in the 70s…many a night spent there… now called Nightlight (no more used books…still live music)

  345. George…brain cells revived…the Boogie! It used to be called the Greenville Boogie!

  346. Kevin Rose is so, so hot.

  347. Nora: Yep! I have been able to see Mike Lightnin Wells, Purple School Bus, the Boomers…

  348. Yay, Kate!

  349. Rats!
    I have missed a golden opportunity to meet the famous George in my natural habitat!

    That get together was started by sixty/seventy era like minded folks who had originally attended (or Not Attended, as it was the tune in/drop out arc) East Carolina University in Greenville NC…

    I went and sometimes Didn’t go to school there, a surprising hotbed of alternativeness considering its eastern location(SO different over there than Chapel Hill/Durham, which everyone knows is populated by communists)…class of 71 (and 72 and 73….) I’m pretty sure they never held the Boogie there though, even in the early years…

  350. Nora: I’d bet a dollar that we know a bunch of people in common.

  351. George…

    The odds seem good!
    What a world!

    First Haven’s vet,and now that Dark Ages of my past!
    (and Eleanor of Provence!)

  352. Kim- that video made me smile. Thank you! I am going to post it on my Facebook page right now to share the love.

    Sherrill- you are never too old for live music. I really think a lot of musicians appreciate the “older” faces in the crowd (meaning me) because we are usually not drunk and are there for the love of the music. Follow your heart, girl, and go for it!

  353. i am shaking . . . i just updated my calendar to include all the school events . . .

    why do people ruin a perfectly good month, such as MAY, by packing it with picnics, field trips, book sales, teacher appreciation WEEKS!!!!, the parentally-dreaded FIELD DAY, forensics’ showcases, Lauren’s 15th!!! birthday . . . graduations

    my migraine is being revived.

  354. Good thing – too sick to work last night so I read half of “The Giant of Aberdeen County” – it is pretty good. Reminds me of “claudia” from the Used World and also about the tallest woman in the world.

  355. Hi everyone. I have some news, but still finding out the rest tomorrow and then driving home, hopefully. I do have Dysautonomia and the doc thinks it the better kind, the non-autoimmunie kind. I do have Neuropathy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and all the other diseases they’ve told me back home. Also, I may have a rare genetic disorder that Mayo doesn’t even test for, but they took nine more vials of blood to see if I have the antibodies for it. It invloves missing collagen and there’s like 8 rare diseases and I’m not sure what I’ll hear about it tomorrow. But after spending hours in their library it sounds like I have all the symptoms. Sigh. So, good and bad news, but I’m happy to just have answers. Everyone of you blog babies was kind to me and I want to thank you all. I’m going to post my entire story on my blog sometime if anyone is curious. Mayo is amazing and I adore all of the doctors I saw there.

    Now, off to random gossip. I’m glad Matt got kicked off Idol; I love 30 Rock and can not wait to see it tonight; and I’m reading an interesting book called The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs about a writer/editor who decides to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Also, have you all heard Jon Gosselin got caught apparently cheating again on his wife? Those people ….

    Haven – Are you doing ok after last weekend? I really hope so.

  356. GiGi – yippee for more information/diagnosis . . . does this mean you get to go home??? That they were able to get all the tests done this week. I have been thinking of you and have started a prayer flag . . . will get your mailing address and send it up North soon (ask Suzanne though, it took me like 4 months to get hers’ there, but I am a bit more organized now and I bought some funky tubes for mailing them) . . . Love you! Sher

  357. For Haven: the Little Nash Rambler . . .

    http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Little-Nash-Rambler_143469.htm

  358. Gigi!! I will over to post on your blog in 2 shakes of a lambs tail…
    I watched Rachel Getting Married today and was blown away. Ann Hathaway is brilliant. Has anyone else seen it?
    Oh, I also picked up and started Speak Softly She can Hear on a whim yesterday and then I receive my beautiful present from Caryl in today’s mail, only to discover Ms. Fick listed it on her book list.
    Me, Sher, we’re like this ( point to eyes, point to Sher, and repeat)

  359. here we must refer to the master:

    bob dylan.

    IDIOT WIND

    Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press
    Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
    I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

    People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act
    Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
    Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
    I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me better than that
    Sweet lady.

    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
    Blowing down the backroads headin’ south.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

    I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike
    I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like.
    There’s a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin’ out of a boxcar door,
    You didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars
    After losin’ every battle.

    I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ ’bout the way things sometimes are
    Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin’ me see stars.
    You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
    One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzin’ around your eyes,
    Blood on your saddle.

    Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
    Blowing through the curtains in your room.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

    It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
    You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart.
    Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
    What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
    You’re on the bottom.

    I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
    I can’t remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes
    don’t look into mine.
    The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building
    burned.
    I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime
    turned Slowly into autumn.

    Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
    You’re an idiot, babe.
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

    I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read
    Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin’ I was somebody else instead.
    Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,
    I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
    And all your ragin’ glory.

    I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free,
    I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
    You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
    And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
    And it makes me feel so sorry.

    Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
    Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
    Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
    We’re idiots, babe.
    It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

  360. in fact i think we ALL NEED to take a mental healt break and listen to the penultimate BOB DYLAN, “Blood on the Tracks.” When my heart has been brken, Bob spoke to me in his gritty holy voice and i was strong, and saw clearly. i also lit a white candle. it works.

    Dont Think Twice, It’s Allright

    It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
    It don’t matter, anyhow
    And it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
    If you don’t know by now
    When your rooster crows at the breaks of dawn
    Look out your window and I’ll be gone
    You’re the reason I’m traveling on
    Don’t think twice, it’s all right.

    It ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
    That light I never knowed
    And it ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
    I’m on the dark side of the road
    But I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
    To try and make me change my mind and stay
    We never did too much talking anyway
    So don’t think twice, it’s all right.

    It ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
    Like you never done before
    It ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
    I can’t hear you any more
    I’m a-thinking and a-wond’rin’ walking down the road
    I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
    I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
    Don’t think twice, it’s all right.

    So long honey, babe
    Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
    Goodbye’s too good a word, babe
    So I’ll just say fare thee well
    I ain’t saying you treated me unkind
    You could have done better but I don’t mind
    You just kinda wasted my precious time
    But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

  361. SHER — love, love, love your 2 eat your words/you can eat them too encaustic concepts. just brilliant. xoooxo SFC

  362. and of course, if you can listen to NEIL YOUNG, LIVE AT MASSEY HALL, that always heals a body….

  363. And sarah mclaughlin. SURFACING and FUMBLING TOWARD ECSTASY. that’ll heal what’s broken. OKAY, NOW I’M INSPIRED. i’m going to round up all 1000 of my cds and organize them in alphabetical order. yea! sometimes i forget the power of music, and i just spend too much time without music – preferring to listen instead to the unsavory radio station inside my head, what annie lamott calls KFUCT. ha!

  364. Haven, you break my heart with your grieving. I am going to compose a little letter to you, as (having never blogged before), I think what I’d like to say would take up too much space here.

    The amount of love and loyalty reflected on these pages is vast. Hang in there- the world holds you dear.

  365. Suzanne, I so love that song! There’s a wonderful version on Dylan’s 60th anniversary album- I think it’s done by someone called “Ramblin Jack,” who does it up right with a cracked voice.

    The line about it being no use to turn on the light because “I’m on the dark side of the room” just slays me every time. And the wasting of precious time- oh, and all of it.

    Thank you for reminding me of that song.

  366. Do you know Nick Drake? “Day once dawned”? That one softens me every time.

    A beautiful song from a beautiful soul. I will try to recall the lyrics so I can write them for you.

  367. I cheated and found it on line, and it’s called ‘From the Morning,’ so I had the title wrong, but here it is in its loveliness”

    Lyrics to From The Morning :
    A day once dawned, and it was beautiful
    A day once dawned from the ground
    Then the night she fell
    And the air was beautiful
    The night she fell all around.

    So look and see the days
    The endless coloured ways
    And go play the game that you learned
    From the morning.

    And now we rise
    And we are everywhere
    And now we rise from the ground
    And see she flies
    And she is everywhere
    See she flies all around

    So look see the sights
    The endless summer nights
    And go play the game that you learned…

    From the morning.

  368. OK, I clearly talk too much for a blog, and some of it’s because I’m starved to talk, and some of it’s because I’ve never done this before, and some of it’s because I get so psyched by the conversation here that I can’t help myself.

    I’m embarrassed at my too-much-ness, but I must offer this link to ‘From the Morning,’ sung in Nick’s beautiful, fragile, earnest voice. And then I will cease for a while, as I think I talk too much here…

    All you who are downhearted and ill-at-ease tonight, take a minute of solace with this bit of gentle loveliness:

    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2JjJPDz3EE

  369. Music. Yes.

    My chosen theme in my betrayal days was

    NOT READY TO MAKE NICE by the Dixie Chicks (who know the true meaning of betrayal and denigration, my lands). If you watch SHUT and SING . . . what breaks my heart is when Emily says “If us quitting and never playing or writing again is what will give her [Natalie] peace . . . I’ll do it” . . . wow – now that, my friends, is a friend. To accept you with whatever shortcomings you have and to love you anyway – to see you with eyes of LOVE (and sacrifice) if that is what is required.

    Yes. Hell to the Yes. Yes to the hell . . .

    Also. let us not forget we are you tubing, so:

    The video:

    which I believe has many messages of stain, pain, sisterhood, true friendship, sorrow, and so forth. I actually balled my eyes out the first time I heard this song AFTER my big family betrayal.

  370. Jenny – um, you are talking to the person who has been accused of having ‘VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG’ posts!

    Chill, type and we will all respond!

  371. oh great – now WORDPRESS decides to turn off the embedding feature . . .

    jeebus:

    trying it the old way…

  372. nope….guess I am screwed

  373. Hey Jenny!!
    Sometimes I save up all of my thoughts during the day and just spew them out, all over the blog when I get home.
    These people can sure can listen.

  374. Oh, oh, oh, thank you, Sher!

    For reasons related to my being married to Satan, I have not spoken to people in any real way for four years. FOUR YEARS. Which is why I’m a little long-winded. Four years is a long time to stay quiet.

    I am silently keeping my head down and planning an escape. And as I do, I find that the act of planning makes me perk up and take some interest in the world. I am desperate to talk and to once again hear the ideas and thoughts of some interesting, enthusiastic, funny, and good people.

    You, Blog Babies, should take my entry here as a serious testament to your wonderfulness. It took a special group to make me enter the world again, even if it is in a ‘virtual’ way.

    You make me think and care about you, and I can’t tell you what a gift that is to me.

  375. a second school closed for a week in Nashville because of 1 kid with the swine flu in each. Oh my, i hope this does not mess with sweet daughter’s graduation. That sounds kind of selfish, but, this could be very inconvenient….

  376. Jenny, I am planning my escape too…

  377. Linda, are you safe?

  378. Write to me:

    jennwoehr@nyc.rr.com

    We will help each other.

  379. magic.

  380. Oh, yes, I am completely safe. That is so sweet of you to ask, Jenny. But, I am also sober now, one year and almost a week sober, and coming to realize how very wrong the last 10 years have been. Which also makes me realize why I drank so long. Ugh ugh and triple ugh.

  381. Jenny, my heart aches for you. Are you safe is my first question, and what can we do for you is my second? email me any time if you want to talk or need cheering up, anything. carylhayes@yahoo.com. Don’t worry, I am safe, ask any of the babies..

  382. By safe I mean I am not a nut job.

  383. Well, Shanna might have something to say about that.

  384. Linda, I’m glad you’re safe, and I’m PROUD of you being sober. SO proud. I drank like Hell for a while myself, and it became enough to raise eyebrows. Pregnant now, though, and thank God not in the least bit tempted. I don’t know what other force could have stopped me. So, you’ve reclaimed part of your soul from the bottle and will take back another chunk by venturing out on your own. You are a brave woman.

    Amy, I love your posts, and I always seem to miss them by just a little bit. You make me laugh.

    Um, by the way, Blog Babies, Jim Shue seems to be missing. We’ve just gotten Ghetto Girl back- can’t go about losing another.

  385. Caryl, thank you so much. I guess I am safe. Will either come out of this safe or dead, but wouldn’t place any bets either way. Not to be melodramatic or anything…

    Things took on a whole new level of sadism once I got pregnant.

    Mostly I think I will be safe. He’s afraid of getting into trouble, and I only need to make it another 5 months.

    Thank you for thinking of me.

  386. Congratulations, Jenny! Is this your first child? If that is too personal you don’t need to answer.

  387. No, not too personal! Yes, my first baby. I am 16 weeks, so there were inklings of boyness and the first ultrasound which cannot be confirmed until my next ultrasound, which is next Thursday.

    (Caryl, does my memory serve me correct? Are you pregnant, too?)

  388. Linda, I love your smiling picture. You exude warmth from a 1cm square.

  389. Am going to make some dinner and take the doggies for a walk and crawl into bed.

    It has been a pleasure talking with you all tonight.

    Haven, listen to Dixie Chicks first to steel your heart, then Nick Drake to soften it enough to get some sleep. We are thinking of you.

  390. Caryl is amazing and awesome, but I do not believe currently pregnant. LOL

  391. I can also confirm that Caryl is entirely wonderful and if she is pregnant I want to know why I wasn’t informed.

  392. No, not pregnant, but would take a baby if anyone is offering. I would take many more babies.
    Jenny, please email me.

  393. Wow, Jenny, you are a fighter. I admire your determination. I pray tomorrow is a good day for you.

  394. Um Caryl, would you take a 29 year old baby? I can help with the laundry:)

  395. I would take you Amy.

  396. Thank you Caryl.
    I am really worried about Jenny.

  397. Sher – Well, I cancelled my Cardiology consult and am skipping the two day Fibromyalgia workshops, but we think we are free tomorrow! I’d love if you made me something, thanks so much. And no hurry, my lord, we are all busy with lives outside of HAVENLAND. Hey, I was at the Mall of America and saw the cutest little store filled with mini barn animals. I thought of both you and Haven and knew you’d both have the time of your lives in that store. They had these horses that I used to collect and had no idea each horse was like $40 or so. Of course I threw those out too when I got married. It made me even more sad than losing my original Little House on the Prairie books. Sigh.

    Amy in Ohio – I haven’t seen Rachel getting married, but have loved Ms. Hathaway once I saw her in Ella Enchanted. Just love her. I just read you hadn’t heard back from me via email and it made me feel bad. Some nights here I’ve been going to bed at 9:00pm, when I usually go to bed at 3:00pm. I’m sorry not to keep everyone posted. I’m just done and hopfully going home tomorrow.

    Amy in CA – I’m sorry to hear you have celiac disease. My doctor told me I had it once, but it turned out that I didn’t. I learned alot about it that week and all I can say is I’m so sorry for you.

    Jenny – I grew up in a domestic violence home, and was a victim of d.v. in my very first high school relationship. And I volunteered for a D.V. organization (Called Haven, how cool is that?) If you EVER need any advice or resources, just email me. Seriously. Because EVERY type of woman can end up dead and it would be a shame for one more woman to die tragically. Don’t make me all crazy worrying.

    George – I just saw that you posted a link to my blog. Goodness, you people are awesome.

    Also, if I missed responding to anyone on here I’m so sorry. This sounds so lame, but my eyes are doing crazy stuff since I have this lattice degeneration. I have blur spots, and floaters and have trouble reading and being online after awhile.

  398. Hi Caryl – How about a 38 year old lady with some health issues and big medical bills? I’m ready to go to California, my mom grew up there! I miss you, by the way.

  399. Jenny (and everyone else) I’m here. Been working on a post about amputating harmful relationships. Seems to be a recurring theme around these parts. Jenny, what you are attempting is one of the bravest, most courageous, and terrifying thing you most likely will ever do. You have the support of all of us here.

    Gigi – I’ve been thinking of you a lot and wondering/hoping that you would find the medical answers you so desperately need. It sounds like you are on the right track.

    And Sher? You have to be one of the most brave woman here. The crap you’ve been through and still have such light pouring out of you soul is just incredible.

    This is just a short list of the people who inspire me and that I admire.

    George, thank you for what you posted here. I have created a wonderful family with God’s help. The best that I could have ever hoped for. A friend of mine reminded me just last week that luck had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was smart choices on my part that led me to where I am today. And from where I came from, that in itself is a miracle.

  400. Thanks for the shout out GFTG. Celiac is really not a big deal – I just don’t eat anything with gluten. It’s only a problem if it goes undiagnosed. The only thing I still miss is good sourdough bread. Preferably eaten in San Francisco on the wharf with crab cocktails and California chardonnay.

    I’m so glad for your good medical news. The Mayo Clinic does some amazing work – you’re in good hands there.

  401. Much clapping of hands – Jim Shue our Adorable and Royal Sockmonkeyness made an appearance . . . clap. clap. clap.

    realized at the end of the day that if I removed the headband, bobby pins and butterfly clips out of my hair/head, it actually eased the headacher pressure, all except for the knife stabbing and twisting in my right eye . . . but it was BETTER . . .

    so, why did I have those in my hair . . . because I pretended to be pulled together (without doing the wash/blowdry) for a late lunch meeting . . . I went for “oh, I’ve been in the studio” look . . . not so sure if I fooled anybody though!!!

    Things are looking up here because I just, tonight, taught Claire how to give me a foot massage!

    I also took her shopping for her 5 million ‘volunteer’ items for upcoming school events and we ran into her 1st grade teacher at the Dollar Tree . . .

    claire said “I can’t believe Mrs. Bell goes shopping!” After chatting with her a few minutes, and going on our separate ways . . . claire kept up a running commentary . . .

    “Mommy, she’s in the candy aisle . . .

    Mommy, now she is in the pet aisle . . .

    . . . blah . . .

    “Mommy, now she is CHECKING OUT”

    “MOMMY, NOW SHE IS GONE!”

    (I think to myself, thank Jesus, because the whole store knew where Mrs. Bell was!)

    Made it to the post office today . . . . so I am possibly back on track.

    The Mall of America. I. could. never. step. foot. in. there.

    give me a flea market, thrift store any day!

  402. I love Claire stories!

  403. oh, my . . . Claire stories, when Dylan was a baby, and actually up until he was in school I kept a journal of his days . . .

    “dylan and Mommy went here . . . so and so visited . . . it was minute in detail . . . ”

    I’ve been trying to do more of a record for Claire, especially the funny things.

    Yesterday she had 3 friends over (all girls, all 6) . . . they were playing ‘school’ and it was ‘reading time’ . . . claire was the teacher

    “Now, children it is reading time, please hold your hands in your laps, please keep your eyes pealed forward at me, listen with your ears . . . we will ask questions later . . . today our author is going to Haven Kimmel, all Haven Kimmel, who is also Zippy from a Girl Named Zippy . . . do you want to hear Orville or the treehouse book?” . . . I was dying, but it was too close for me to get up and get the camcorder . . . lost opportunities

  404. Jenny, Caryl is correct, she is not a nutjob. I will also add that she is made of incredible.
    Also, I hope you’re okay.

    Think that’s my two cents for the evening .. that and, hi Jim. :)

  405. Amy in Ohio. Rachel Getting Married was superb, Anne Hathaway acted her socks off in that movie. I cried and cringed my way through it and I highly recommend it to everyone. I watched it in a hotel room with Peter and Charlie snoring next to me and Jack on his computer and he looked up once to ask if I was okay and just let me go on with my hysterics.

  406. disappeared to do paperwork . . . now off for migraine meds . . . but look for me on Ovation TV if you have it . . .they just requested a bunch of images . . . yippee.

    things I learned today:

    1. do not wear headbands while migraining
    2. snails do not survive overnight in the bug catcher jar
    3. my daughter turns 15 in only 17ish days
    4. if forgot my son only celebrates soltices and samhain and I forgot to get him anything for may day tomorrow.
    5. it is not a good thing to leave the garage door open during a monsoon.

    see, you learn something new EVERYDAY@!

  407. I can attest that Caryl is NOT crazy, although she might be a baby stealer.

  408. Dylan celebrates May Day? Gah. If I lived anywhere near you, I would totally do the May Basket thing. !!

  409. No one’s up? Guess it’s time for me to go to bed, then. ;)

  410. Jenny, pack your shit. You need a ride? There are blog babies EVERYWHERE. We can work something out. What state do you live in? What are the major cities near you?

    Afraid of getting in trouble only lasts so long.

  411. Jenny- there are waves and waves of prayers for courage, strength, safety, and happiness going out to you and the little one inside of you today. We love you!

    I was tossing and turning all night thinking that perhaps I sounded flippant about escaping my current situation when really mine is just discontent, boredom, frustration… no physical abuse or emotional abuse because there is not a whole lot of anything going on. I was not trying to be silly, especially if there is a chance your situation is dangerous. So, please know, you are in my thoughts and prayers and are all here for you if you need us. Haven knows more than an army of thousands, and when combined with the wisdom of George, Jim, Caryl, Sher, Maureen, Gigi, Kittery, Molly, Kate, Sherril, AmyO and many others the strength is just astounding!

  412. I know that strength is astounding. I know I continue to say it, but you are all such a delightful gift in the middle of what has been a chasm of darkness. I’ve gone from feeling utterly alone to feeling connected to the world, which is a transformative thing.

    Linda, I did not think you were being flippant. There are lots of ways for a person’s spirit to die, and the specifics of the external circumstances don’t necessarily make my situation harder. In my mind, leaving this situation isn’t nearly as difficult as thinking about how to forge a new life out of the ashes. That’s where my courage fails me, and we’re in the same boat there.

    Molly- can’t pack and go. Need my job and health insurance, can’t afford to live on my own, hubby is de facto boss. I put my student loans into forbearance so I can bank a little money to live on when the time comes, which is why I’m on a 5-month plan.

    GG, thank you. I may call upon your DV experience. One problem is things stop short of actual physical assault- more like terrorizing- threatening to report our car stolen if I try to leave for my mother’s, screaming 2 inches from my face, blocking my access to the phone, blocking my exit from the apartment, and, when that makes me hysterical, calling 911 and having them send an ambulance to take me for a psych-eval if I scream loud enough for the neighbors to hear. Which he can do, because he’s a psychiatrist. I was evaluated and released by ER personnel both times that happened, but to be taken away by police and EMS in front of the neighbors is a horrible, horrible thing. We lived in faculty housing, so the neighbors are also my colleagues. I am a psychologist, for God’s sake. This is not supposed to happen to me…

    So that’s the tricky part- he never actually HITS me, so DV charges would be my word versus his, and he is a master of credibility.

    So that’s the thing. I need to keep my head down, blinders on, keep moving quietly towards the door.

    Jim and Kittery, glad to see you back.

    Amy, you are fun.

    Caryl, I will write to you when I need it.

    Blog Babies, I do not want to monopolize this forum with my own troubles. I’ve been living this way for years, and my life is immeasurably BETTER now that I have both you and a plan, so do not fear. I will call upon you when I need support, but I am weary of thinking about my own troubles. Your cheerful dialogue is AOK with me and makes me happy. Go to it!

  413. Just checking in before I head out to an exciting planned giving seminar for most of the day. It is May, so that means thunderstorms in Tennessee. whoo hoo

  414. Jenny, don’t beat yourself up. We all get into messes that “could never happen to me.”

    You’re already loved here.

    Also, Caryl is the opposite of Nutjob. Caryl is Wonderfulness Embodied in a tiny little body with the biggest heart ever.

  415. Nora – yes! Skylight Exchange – Thank you!

    Sher – i’m on 2nd day of migraine. yesterday, i took 2 aspirin, 2 tylenol, 1 ibuprophen, and then 1 maxalt (my prescription) and i still have it today. hope your’s is gone.

    Girl – i love your blog. will write more to you soon. i am thinking about you.

  416. Gigi,
    Oh my, do not even spend one second feeling badly about not writing me back!
    Caryl, I knew you would have watched Rachel Getting Married! You are my movie guru. I almost ordered The Wrestler but I’m not ready for that yet.

  417. Jenny, everything I would have wanted to say has already been said, so just hear it all over again now :-)

    Kittery had my favorite description of Caryl so far – “she is made of incredible.” Yes, indeed.

    AmyO – I tried to see Rachel Getting Married. Really, I did. But for some reason, and this rarely ever happens, it was making me sick. The jiggly camera… I just couldn’t take it. I stepped out of the theater, called my brother, said “Are you at a computer?” (which is the most ridiculous question to ask my brother, b/c yes, he is), and made him look up the length. I was less than halfway through. I had to leave, but it is on my list at the library and I hope to have it next week! What I saw of it was captivating.

  418. So Molly came over yesterday and we set in on making Kate’s bon bons. I have to say, it went pretty well. The food processer almost gave up its life, but in the end did just what we wanted it to.

    We set to rolling up the innards and dipping them in almond bark with a speed that was a glory to behold. We were making them to take to our weekly girls’ dinner/wine/gossip/movie get-together.

    Our friend Tasha called to cancel on us because of some domestic un-tranquility, and she sounded so upset that Molly said “We have to get over there now!”

    She immediately took all of the Oreo mixture left in the bowl, rolled it into a ball, and coated it in Almond Bark.

    It was the size of a giant meatball.

    But it made Tasha laugh and that was all we needed.

    I am currently making Chai on my stove and my house smells HEAVENLY.

  419. This is none of my business because I don’t know the specifics.

    But, Jenny, from what you have related, y opinion, Jenny…take the car, go to your Mom’s and ride out your pregnancy and divorce as best you can, meaning from your own safe and peaceful place. It’s a mess now, but you’ll be ok and probably will still be within the COBRA time-frame before your insurance expires.

    When you’re in the car, give him a call and tell him to go fuck himself and then say you are praying for him…that’ll trigger a bout of cognitive dissonance, which will delay his calling the cops.

    Jenny, I’ve been around cops to know that they’ll roll their eyes and think what a wimp your husband is if he calls them to report the car missing and his pregnant wife stole it…they’ll be tempted to take him around to the back of the apartment and kick his ass for him.

    You are being bullied in every way: gender, professionally, socially, and, of course, mentally and frankly, I suspect there has been some physical stuff too.

  420. I just want to add my voice to the chorus of support for you Jenny…

    I have no firsthand knowledge or experience with domestic violence that can tell me what “advice” to give, but I feel the need to say I would trust George’s perspective, and I’m stricken to realize that if something did happen to you, HOW WOULD WE KNOW ?

    You might not feel comfortable telling us where you are, but remember what was said above…we are all over the place! Room can be found! I’m in Durham…I love babies!

  421. And please don’t feel in the least like you are monopolizing this space with your problems…although I can understand the comfort in having a place to speak about calmer and happier things too…

  422. Amber, the camera motion is bad, but the movie is so worth it!
    Jenny, listen to George. He is all knowing.

  423. I note that it is quite hard for me to follow George. He is ever wise. So I sit quietly and let someone else go first :-)

  424. (((Jenny))) I don’t really have anything to offer since I’ve never, my entire adult life, been “married” or lived with for that matter anyone but my daughter.

    I was in a very brief verbally abusive relationship once, because I thought I could help her but any help I could have given her certainly wasn’t a very good pay-off for all the abuse I took in such a short time. I left her with a list of everything that I defined as abusive, and she was dumb-founded. A great (almost) acronym for denial is, Don’t Even kNOw I’m A Lair, that includes lying and being blind to our own (in that case hers) abusive behavior.

    I grew up with a verbally, sometimes physically, abusive step-father. It’s taken me years of work, in sobriety, to get beyond living as a victim. It was a long unlearning process. Today I can recognize much faster when I’m becoming a victim, and I run like hell with a good dose of ‘Go Fuck Yourself’, as George said. :)

    Rachel Getting Married:

    I didn’t mind the wonky camera work, but I got really confused about overuse of diversity. I’m all for diversity, but they over did it and made it seem too forced. It was, however, a great portrayal of recovery and family dysfunction. I about jumped out of my seat when she slapped her mother. How many times have I -wanted- to slap my mother, only to end up with nothing but hurt feelings or a bruised ego?

  425. Jenny, sometimes I can be smart/helpful and sometimes I can be funny, so depending on what you need – feel free to email me and I’ll try to help/chat …

    political_performance@yahoo.com <– that’s my ‘junk’ one, I’ll write you back with my real one. Seriously, anytime. I’m not joking. ‘Kay?

  426. Jenny, I’m going to ask an old, old question. What advice would you give your daughter in similar circumstances? Would you tell her to stay with her nightmare of a husband even one more day? Would you tell her that her job is more important than her well-being?

    You’re moveable now. In a few months it will be more difficult. When the baby is born, harder still and that’s if everything goes perfectly. In the first few months of life both you and your baby will be more vulnerable than you can imagine. Think about that. I can guarantee that your sadistic husband is.

    George is so right. There will be a way to deal with the finances. God and the Universe (not to mention the ranks here) will conspire to protect you but only if you make the first move.

    PS: Caryl lives near me. She may be the most insightful and giving person I know. And she’s the one person I’d go to if I needed to reclaim my power. Give her a call.

  427. I debated so long before pressing ‘Submit’ on my last post. Now I’m already asking forgiveness for its preachy-ness.

    Jenny, it was sent from a place of love and fear.

  428. Amy, that didn’t seem preachy to me.. :)

    “George is so right. There will be a way to deal with the finances. God and the Universe (not to mention the ranks here) will conspire to protect you but only if you make the first move.”

    SO TRUE. I was in a situation once, and it got so bad, I left with the clothes on my back. Nothing else. And it wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was horrible, but it was the right thing to do. I got help and it’s amazing the doors that open up once you take the step and escape.

  429. Well Jenny . . . as you seem to be extremely intelligent and living with a plan . . . I just want to add a few more items to contemplate during your process of evaluation . . .

    Psychological bullying is abuse and you know that. now that you recognize it, you won’t be so easy to fool.

    I love the tidbit about considering what it would be for your daughter if she were in the same situation. that was brilliant. And also, do not under estimate your vulnerability as a pregnant woman or as a newly delivered woman . . . somedays you will be happy to have food and 30 minutes of uninterrupted sleep – that is all.

    So, my queries are the 5/5/5:

    In listing your options: 1, staying until after the birth; 2, leaving before the birth; or 3, leaving today. make notes how each of these choices would effect you:

    In 5 days; 5 months; 5 years.

    You have much more to consider now than your own safety. My past situation really reached the physical abuse (besides restraint) . . . but it is abuse nonetheless.

    If you call the police before you leave . . . and relay the threats that he has promised – he will be committing perjury and manipulation of law enforcement, which is not viewed lightly. In the very least, go on the offensive right now . . . stay a few steps ahead of him.

    Your career and your life might be less ‘comfortable’ or ‘financially secure’ if you leave now or soon, but that cannot compete with the stability of safety you will provide for yourself and your child.

    I agree it will be more difficult to leave once the baby is born. I have been pregnant 5 times, I have 3 living children. Do not underestimate the responsibilities and physical impact of motherhood. Be the mother this child needs NOW . . . set up a life of safety for his/her future. If this man makes you feel insance and helpless and fearful, imagine the games he will play with this child – who is more vulnerable in every way.

    I reiterate all the support given before. These are wise people.

    Also, during my first posting I spewed forth all manner of incest and sexual abuse in my history . . . these souls here just absorb it and move forward and help you/me/each other move forward.

    May Day – Beltane – re-birth, re-newal.

    It is in the air.

  430. Even with the migraine, I made up for my lack of accomplishment this week by doing a new blog posting on my site (yippee!), editing artwork photos, communicating with long ignored family and friends via email, and general catch up – – – thus going to bed at 4:30 a.m. – but I feel ‘ahead’ today, instead of behind, as usual.

    this bodes well for the weekend . . . new artwork and new entry . . . http://www.sherfickart.typepad.com . .. no views of “Eat Your Words” yet, because it is very ‘seminal’ right now.

  431. “May Day – Beltane – re-birth, re-newal.”

    My birthday! :)

  432. Happy Birthday, Kittery – I didn’t know . . . but am celebrating anyway – what a perfect natal day . . . I have 2 friends with this bd, now 3!

  433. Hi everyone –
    This must have been the week of blog baby migraines, because I had one too – actually a sinu-migraine. I seem to be pulling out of it.

    Jenny – Hi. So sorry about your situation. My sister was in a similar situation a few years ago, but more passive-aggressive in nature. Please know we are all here for you and feel free to vent or blab at great length if you need to. We all have.

  434. Wow… Happy Birthday Kittery!!

  435. how would one do a virtual May Pole or Bonfire?

  436. Hey Kit-Kat! Happy birthday!!

  437. Thanks, ladies! :)

    Sher, I’m not sure .. I did the best I could by sending May Basket Flair on Facebook .. you should’ve gotten one… if you didn’t, it’s ’cause Facebook is disagreeable. ;)

  438. The words of wisdom coming from this blog are astounding, and even more so because they come from a real place of compassion. Knowing I have all of you in my corner should anything happen to me fills me with awe. That said, Jenny please read all of these posts more than once. You may be regretting the moment you opened yourself up to us by sharing your pain but you did so for a reason. You already knew the answer but had no one to tell you that you were right. Until now. You need to go, listen to George’s every word. If you are hoping that once you have the baby you will have finally found the courage to leave, it doesn’t work that way. You will not know the fear of being alone until you face it alone with your child. Go now, while this baby is just an idea and a dream, go before you bring one moment of pain or sadness onto him or her. The resources out there are endless, and your new found support here is daily. I come from a long line of women who don’t stay. Please listen to me.

  439. Happy Birthday Kittery !!

  440. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KITTERY!!!!!!!!!

  441. My heart is thrilled to be celebrating Beltane with Others!

    One of my passionate obsessions is Arthurian legend in it’s Right and Proper time frame (5th century/no armor please)…and all this Mayness lands me right back into one of my forever favorite books, The Mists of Avalon (and I’m not ashamed to admit it!)

    And a Happy Birthday to you Kittery!

    You say it’s your birthday
    It’s my birthday too, yeah
    They say it’s your birthday
    We’re gonna have a good time
    I’m glad it’s your birthday
    Happy birthday to you.

    Yes we’re going to a party party
    Yes we’re going to a party party
    Yes we’re going to a party party

    I would like you to dance (Birthday)
    Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
    I would like you to dance (Birthday)
    Dance

    I would like you to dance (Birthday)
    Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
    I would like you to dance (Birthday)
    Dance

    You say it’s your birthday
    Well it’s my birthday too, yeah
    You say it’s your birthday
    We’re gonna have a good time
    I’m glad it’s your birthday
    Happy birthday to you.

    it’s Not my birthday too No, but I do LOVE this song, and we sing it here for all toddler birthdays, because it’s my sacred duty to preach the gospel of Beatles to the young…

  442. Kittery, Kittery, Kittery, Happy Birthday Sista!
    Goooooooooooooooooo Kittery!
    ( I have medicine head and obviously, I need to leave the office pronto.)

  443. Kate–bonbons=divine. It was like you were right there with us, directing. Amber did a better job twirling in the almond bark than I did. Mine kinda looked like a cat had coughed them up. They still taste good though…

  444. Yay Nora! I once hauled a cd player into class and had it all ready for Ms Molly’s entrance, blasting this song as she walked into the room.

    You’re so awesome.

  445. Grr… I’m trying to figure out wordpress… I finally got my picture to show up… trying out the name now…

  446. Woot! It worked.

  447. Hey, yo Kittery–

    Happy Birthday!

    ~~

    I first read this Blog earlier in the day on my Palm T|X, without my glasses on. I for sure thought Molly wrote to Jenny, “Pack your shirt.” I was going to write, “And, pants, please; I think you’re going to want pants,” until I remembered that pants are optional. At least, they are if one is staying in a hotel in Pennsylvania while on a business trip. This I learned from Amy in Ohio.

    Then I put my glasses on. Oh, wait, that’s not SHIRT. Never mind.

    ~~
    One day after spending time here with all of you, I got off the computer and walked into our kitchen where my kids were conversing together at the table. They suddenly stopped talking all at the same time, and I realized they were staring at me. I was pretty sure I was dressed (but did a quick check), so asked, “… what?”

    My 17-year-old son answered, haltingly, “I don’t know. It’s just that… you’re so happy.”

    After which I went into the other room and burst into tears.

    Y’all are good for me.

    ~ S.

  448. “My 17-year-old son answered, haltingly, “I don’t know. It’s just that… you’re so happy.”

    Awww. I love Us. :)

  449. Sarah…Your burst into tears story has me all teary too
    because I Get It!

    Now I’m going out on the porch with 5 little people, where we are going to sing Birthday real loud…and it’s NOT OUR BIRTHDAY!!!

    HA! we are so subversive here in Durham…

  450. Kittery – I did send ecards for Beltane and did a posting about it on my blog . . . haven’t logged onto Facebook today . . . because . . . I have stalkers there . . . . will go anyway!

    Esp. if a Maybasket is awaiting me.

    Ok . . . word from Haven is this is going to be a great day and night for her . . . spending it with Kat Mountain Biking and having a Slumber Party . . . so all those good wishes are being fulfilled.

    I think one reason I am so enamoured of Beltane is what the rituals symbolize.

    We get this day to enact, if we chose, the burning of the old ‘heaviness’ which buried us in the winter months by burning “wicker man” . . . as the old burns off we enact fertility (spiritually as well as physically) . . . renewal and rebirth. this is vital because the cumulative effect of the long buried sorrows and pains . . . we just get to dance and scream it all out . . .

  451. Kittery baby, happy happy day to you. Gifts are forthcoming but I will have to leave my house to send them. That anyone ever recieves anything from me is a small miracle. Love to you so much on this and every day!

  452. Sarah . . . yep, I am happier for this blog, too. It does all that soul nourishing . . . I think, in fact, that we are unprogrammed quakers, because I swear, the sacred silence . . . as we listen . . .then we share . . .

    perhaps we are in virtual meeting.

  453. amber has become a wordpress maestro!

  454. i switched my gravatar, but it won’t show up for a month or so, perhaps in time for memorial day!

  455. The Belief-o-matic thingy keeps telling me I’m Quaker, even though I keep telling it I fully intend to Hit.

    ~ S.

  456. Good grief. I adore you all. You know the best part? Durham was my birthday present. Hah. So darlings – you are my gift. Not just today, either. :)

    Sher, your blog post made me cry ..
    And, you say you have stalkers on Facebook, do you know you can block them? I just found that out today and I blocked my sister! :D (A small gift from the Universe, methinks.)

  457. Intent is different that Act.

    Don’t forget that Delonda slapped Bob first on one cheek. Then on the other, because that was the Christian way.

    Sarah, you bring me joy. I’m glad you’re getting something back.

  458. also, my husband, the gorgeous Donny, asks me nightly ‘how are the bloggers?” He gets it. I don’t even make him talk to me when he doesn’t want to anymore . . . I just poke him once in while to make sure he is alive . . . no pressure, now he just has to talk when he wants to!

  459. well, see I am being stalked via some of my friends sites . . . basically I have to block their pages for it to work . .. very frustrating.

    plus, I am pretty public (you say ‘no shit’) . . . so it is par for the course, it is just whether I want to deal with on this still hangover migraine day . . . also I could get dressed, put on makeup, fix my hair and Donny will take me out tonight . . . but is it worth it?

  460. Jenny, YES. Listen to what is being here. Especially THIS:

    “You need to go, listen to George’s every word. If you are hoping that once you have the baby you will have finally found the courage to leave, it doesn’t work that way. You will not know the fear of being alone until you face it alone with your child. Go now, while this baby is just an idea and a dream, go before you bring one moment of pain or sadness onto him or her.”

    This is SUCH wisdom that I am astounded, even though I have had the blessing of meeting Caryl in person and knowing her grace and strength. She is CHANNELING THE TRUTH here, from where I do not know, but I KNOW THE TRUTH WHEN I HEAR IT.

    Any problem that can be solved by money (job, insurance, etc.) is not a big picture problem. The real problems are the lack of care for your emotional health and the wellbeing of the baby you are carrying inside of you. You will NOT look back on this situation and say “well at least I kept my job/insurance.” You just won’t.

    Talk about it here. Reach out personally to the people who have extended their hands to you. Take the help that is being offered. You will be safe.

  461. also.

    there is nothing scarier or more dangerous than an intelligent abuser. they use their twisted viewposts to, literally, drive you insane and to incapacitate your self-determination.

    read THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD . . . oh baby, that girl grew her some self-determination cahoonis(s)(sp?)

  462. Happy Birthday and Happy Beltane!! And Happy Friday and Sarah and Nora hugs to you both you make me happy, too.

    Jenny…listen to George..I am so afraid for you..my daughter was in a ‘verbally’ abusive situation but it became physical and her family (us and my brother) physically intervened and moved her out.
    She could not or would not move on her own..a condition I still don’t understand emotionally but realize is common among abused women. I worry that he can read this blog too and know what you are saying and I worry for your physical safety…my daughter has little cameras in her apartment now…have you considered that so you have proof of the verbal abuse…
    Just get the hell out now before the baby is born because that child will for sure be used as a weapon to control you. I will worry about you like you mother must worry…and I am a champion just ask my family. These blog babies will do anything to help you. Oh, and please befriend the police…they see what goes on…George is right, right, right!!
    That’s my rant.
    I’m putting your husband’s name in our Friday burn out the evil box right now..extra powerful because it is Beltane!
    P.S. Glad y’all liked the vomit comment…I was serious…I am mailing her a decorative little box.
    Positive energies your way
    Brenda (in Arizona, Jenny, if that’s anywhere near you)

  463. Jenny: I apologize if I sounded presumptuous, but I was sincere in what I wrote. You’re right, who would have ever thought that a psychologist and a psychiatrist would get into a mess like this? There is no rhyme nor reason for it, and all the introspection and evaluation would probably render very little insight except that when you and your husband are together, there may be love, but there is also potential for pain, anguish, constant anger, and a general dissolution of the spirit that will affect everyone in the vicinity of the relationship. What would you tell your daughter to do in this instance is the best possible advice.

    Kittery: Happy Birthday to you, young lady.

    Linda: I’m now on day five of not smoking. I am listening to my MP3 each night which I have loaded with these “hypnosis” tracks with really dreamy music, nature sounds and imbedded subliminal messages. It’s kinda cool, but God only knows what they are whispering…I know I can do this..but your kinda inspiration helps, believe me.

    Suzanne: About your NPR thing, have you seen or read Julie and Julia? It was a blog turned book and now I hear the movie is out or will be soon with Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

    Anyway, peoples….I am now going to go on a long bike ride or hit some golf balls. I feel the need for some physical stuff after all this mental stuff…

  464. …and Sher: thanks so much for that e-card…

    truly, you guys are real blessing. last night when I took my ride, i ended up at a little bench on the banks of the potomac, about five miles south of mount vernon. i sit there and can watch herons and sea hawks and ducks and Canada geese and fish breaking water and beavers.

    i think about the ghosts of indians and runaway slaves escaping from the auction blocks and their chains in old town alexandria…i wonder if george washington ever rode in this close to the water to fetch his horses a drink…i think about the river and the boats that have been up and down it…

    it’s with those thoughts i sit, breathing hard and sweating from my ride, sipping water, sweating, hearing the current of the river as it rushes away from the banks, leaving behind a field of mud, smell of sulphur…

    i hear the voices of people on the trail walking behind me…a word or a laugh, a couple new in love, another couple so tired of love, a woman jogger grunting, a child saying wait up…

    i strain to hear the voices of the ghosts…i know they’re there and i dare them to talk…tell me their lives

    …and then, then i pray…thanking the divine for every thing, for each molecule and each nanosecond of time, and for my own miniscule place in it…i leave confident that the divine knows our needs and cares very much …and that is all i need…

    the ghosts can talk to me tomorrow, the tidal current can return, the walkers and runners and hikers on the trail can go home and sleep and come back later, as i will…

  465. I am also in a very thankful mood for this blog and what it has brought to my life. Life-saving is really NOT too strong a word. Life-changing, spirit-opening, affirming, GOOD.

    Sarah – How amazing your kids were so struck by your so noticeable HAPPINESS. My 13-year-old son just walked in and said, “Let me guessing, you’re blogging.” To which I replied “These are my FRIENDS. You know how you have friends at school? These are MY friends.”

    It is sheer serendipity that brings people here.

    I was at the book store AND the library today and had some book items to bring up:

    Elizabeth Berg’s new book was in the book store. Is Norwich, NY way behind and this has been out for a while? I almost bought it, but then hoped it would be at the library, which it was but I’m tenth on the waiting list.

    I also got book called the Sakiad by Brian Hall, who also wrote a book about Frost and one about Lewis and Clark (Happy for Your Company?). He will be my workshop leader at the Colgate Writing Workshop at the end of June. Anybody familiar with him?

    I’m chillin’. Going to look for a good instant play on Netflix.

  466. May I offer Julie Andrews on behalf of the day?

  467. Nice! I much prefer J.A. singing this song to the Vanessa Redgrave version. :)

  468. I’m off to watch movies and eat Subway now. ;) *muah!

  469. I’m with you on that, Kittery. I previewed the V.R. rendition and decided to go with this one.
    Speaking of which, any theatrical endeavors in the works for you?

  470. Not right now .. there’s a Shakespeare Reduced thingy (I can’t even remember the details, how pitiful) that I’d like to do, but I don’t know if I can. G&S decides in two days whether there’s going to be a summer reprise of Pirates, so… I’ll let ye know when I find out. :)

    Okay. I’m a little annoyed. I gave my father a list of FIVE movies to rent. Three that I wanted to see, two alternatives. I got ONE. The very last one on my list. Whyyyyyyyyy.
    We’re going back after dinner so I can scout out my 6-10 options.

  471. Kittery, have you seen Synecdoche, New York? I don’t know what to do with it… maybe it will make more sense once it is over, lol

  472. I have not, Amber. I’ll add it to the LONG LIST of movies I want to see that this town DOES NOT offer.
    :: beleaguered sigh ::

    MOLLY: TWO TANKTOPS AND SOME SOCKS. I said, “thanks for Durham.” :: another beleaguered sigh ::

  473. Um, Vanessa Redgrave CAN’T SING and Julie Andrews was ROBBED of both Camelot and My Fair Lady. ROBBED, I TELL YOU.

    I prefer her to both of the other usurpers and refuse to watch or listen to either movie/soundtrack.

    JULIE FOREVER!!!

  474. Socks?

    Could be worse, dear.

    Coulda been deodorant…

    I’m sorry….at least you had Durham?

  475. blog babies’ hook ups . . . let’s all post our travel plans for the summer and see if they coincide with any BB locales:

    me: St. Louis sometime in June?
    Cashiers, NC, July 24 – 30
    Destin, FL – first week of August?
    Perhaps a run on NYC in july?

    Also, Nashville house (actually Spring Hill) is open with lots of room from Jun 16 – Aug 4 . . . as the teens and Claire will be mostly at the Shorehouse over the Summer.

  476. should have titled that posting – Meet Me in St. Louis!

  477. Kittery – this is what I have Netflix for, though our library is really trying to outdo itself. They have lots of good movies now.

    You can now download (a very limited supply) audiobooks from home! I don’t even have to drive over there. Though I think there are only 12 titles to choose from right now ;-)

    As for the title I mentioned above, I couldn’t make it through. It was far too abstract for my brain today. I might make another run at it tomorrow. I loved Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation, but this one is just too much at this particular time.

    And… you can never have too many socks!

  478. Sher, my travel plans this summer include these very exciting locations:

    the north side of Columbus
    the east side of Columbus (work)
    Waverly Hall, GA

    I am beside myself with glee.

  479. Boston to drop Stephany off at Harvard the weekend of June 19th.
    A beach house somewhere for a week, TBD

  480. Sarah, LOVE that story.

    Jenny, listen to the blog babies. Please let us know if we can help you in any way. There may not be any physical abuse yet, but generally it will escalate.

    Love the sense of community here.

  481. Amber, your travels sound so exotic:) I will not be anywhere besides Indiana and Ohio this summer ( with a few jaunts into Michigan) as I am hoarding vacation days for the honeymoon. So….if anyone will be in Negril, Jamaica over Thanksgiving, we should do a meet up! ( Sarah, again no pants for me)
    Mo~ What E. Berg book ya talkin about?
    Oh! You will all love this…so I was driving in an unfamiliar area today to go on an inspection for wind damage to an insured’s home and I started thinking alot about the blog, particuarly Jenny and how hard things must be for her and how I am so very happy, she found us. I noticed a sign to my right and I slowed to read it as it was in the middle of a field, and it just seemed to be so out of place. What did it read?
    ” Quaker friends meeting place.”
    We are everywhere.

  482. Thanks for the e-card, Sher.

    I’m going to Belt, Montana in two weeks. YAY!

    &

    I just returned from seeing Sunshine Cleaning. I give it four stars.

    Happy Birthday Kittery.

  483. I loved Sunshine Cleaning! It wasn’t all what I expected it to be. I’m still working on my write up because I’m trying to peg it. It doesn’t quite fit a box, which is a good thing in this case.

  484. eh hem, if, say a few blog babies would decide to drive from, say, columbus GA to say, TN, they could stay at Sher’s house, spend days in the studio AND eat bed and breakfast type food and drink good italian wine in the nighttime . . . I’m just saying . . . a long weekend . . . just something to keep in mind

  485. Also, thanks Sher, for the ecard!!
    I will be in Iowa City, Iowa (River City for y’all) the last two weeks of August. I would love to see any of you.
    Amy!! of course no pants in Jamaica!! Lucky girl.
    lol, B.

  486. And, if certain Columbus, Georgia girls happen to be at the Fick Family B&B in Spring Hill, I will check on live music that weekend and we will have a girls night out to see some cute and talented musicians. There are bound to be some somewhere in town whichever weekend you choose.

    Good for you, George! Hey- are you going to see Leonard Cohen when he is in Columbia, MD? My kids dad is flying up to go with this sister, the sister who works at the Folger Shakespeare Library. You would like both of them so if you are going I will introduce you.

  487. Greetings blog babies…spicy, brown, exotic babies! This is the best place to get a baby IMHO. Already toilet trained, erudite, and not missing the funny bone.

    Just wanted to pop in and give my love to you all and say welcome dear Jenny. Sweetheart, listen to everybody. Marriage does not have to be that way. Take care of yourself and your little one. I will pray for you.

    xoxo

  488. Whoa.

    http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php

  489. I just got back from the most transformative evening out with a dear friend. All we did was talk, well, that and drink wine, sit on the balcony on the first nice day of the spring … I was in a mood. I feel like I just planned my next two years. As much giddiness as I left with, I’ve had this underlying dread since reading you, Jenny. I haven’t stopped thinking about you all day. Or all week, for that matter, since your first post and mayday.

    When I lived in NYC, I volunteered a couple different ways for Safe Haven there — and as all those women in the shelter, and the director, and the literature, said, “violence always escalates.” — That you are compelled to keep quiet for four years when you have such a sit-up-and-take-notice voice and worldview … to rob you of your most essential self in that way? This, before you ever get to where you say it hasn’t gotten physical. Blocking your egress? Not just invading but shredding your personal space by screaming two inches from your face? — physical abuse is not just around the corner, it has unpacked in the guest room.

    You describe classic abuse symptoms. Manipulation is elemental, abuse’s semaphore. Two of the most effective techniques: 1) isolating you and stripping you of resources (though now you are lousy with them, even if you weren’t before you posted here), and 2) blocking your exit — blocking access to the phone, physically preventing you from leaving, or doing things like taking your keys, etc. Which, by the way? His provoking you to hysteria and then calling the police smells like a systematic strategy to discredit you and eventually wreck your practice or get you dismissed from your job, as then you will be so dependent on him you will “never” have a way out. Smells I tell you.

    Brenda’s comment that your child may become a weapon (a quick test: how do the words “custody battle” affect you?) seems so much more likely if you stay till after delivery, the thought just that much more terrifying because of the damage it will do to both you and your child, staying with this man. For you, if you stay, your husband will most certainly see very early on that your child means more to you than anything, and will rightly assess that those dread words are an ironclad tool to keep you there. Abuse is abuse — no child gets through a childhood where it is present without trauma, and it’s not such a surprise when we start adult life repeating the dynamic we’re comfortable with. — AmyO is dead on: it will be more difficult to leave — not less — when your child is born.

    There’s so much wisdom and assistance for you here, Jenny, concrete and practical help. You know something has to be done, you know it means upheaval, and you’re rightly exhausted at what’s ahead. But as fatigued as you are now, these are some patient, tolerant, attentive mothers, and if they say 30 minutes of sleep (Sher, I have to believe that it’s true), take them at their word. The first year, it’s possible you will be just trying to drag yourself and your baby through each Olympic-record sleep-deprived day without falling apart. No time for relocation research or the push of energy it takes to plan logistics (here is where BBs come in extra helpful). Your pregnancy seems an especial blessing: you have the push of before baby/after baby realities to motivate. AmyO’s comments were so spot on: what would you tell your daughter (or son) to do; and that the first few months after your baby is born you will be more vulnerable than you thought possible — and guarantee you that he knows it. Sher knows more about abuse and emotional manipulation than anyone should ever have to, and has written with insight and strength on the subject in the archives of this blog. Caryl is a master tactician. Here is strategic and material help — just ask. Even if you don’t know what you’re asking for yet. You need every assistance offered and every advantage that strategy can give you.

    Your misfortune is you live with someone not averse to telling lies. And does he plant them with just the tiniest detail of truth, so that no one but those who know your heart knows the truth from a pack of lies that carry the ring of plausibility? (And if he’s following the template, he’s attempted to or succeeded in isolating you so completely that there aren’t that many that do know your heart.) You are right to begin to plan: you need a strategy (ahem, Caryl again) and move quick move soon and curtail if you can indications that you are readying to do so. — Sher said something that seemed very proactive, which was to warn the police, who have a vested interest in treating even a whiff of DV seriously, what will be coming. Also, a computer not available to your husband would be better for browsing (including here), research, or emailing. If that isn’t an option, clear your history each time you finish a browsing session, make your password REALLY secure, check he hasn’t installed a password-detection program (a free download, btw)etc. — be a step ahead of him.

    Your most definitive mayday was on May Day Eve; maybe you were being dry, but you know it’s no idle 911. You said something else that truly chilled me from head to toe. “Will either come out of this safe or dead, but wouldn’t place any bets either way…things took on a whole new level of sadism once I got pregnant.” This. Jenny, a friend from high school miscarried late in her pregnancy after her husband kicked her repeatedly in the uterus. Please, please do not underestimate his rage or think you are (or he is) in control of it.

    I thought so long before I decided to post this. Tried to edit it down. Took comfort in the fact that you will now know the breadth and length that long-winded can reach. Please forgive me, Jenny, if this seems all intrusive; it’s that what you’ve described is so worrying and I know too much to take it casually. Please let us know how you are. xoxxo C

  490. And Jenny, I love what you wrote Haven: “Being a good person means we have to draw the line somewhere, and hold firm on what we will and will not tolerate.” The act of saying it? To us, here? It’s the most courageous move of the courageous moves that will be required of you in the near future. Because once you’ve said it, you can’t go back to it’s alright.

    I’ll email you with an email address; anything in my power to help, please know I will…

  491. Happy Birthday (and a day) to you!
    Happy Birthday (and a day) to you!
    Happy Birthday (and a day) dearest Kitterrrryyyyy…
    Happy Birthday (and a day) to you!

    xooxo C

  492. Mo — I smoke a cigarette with you…

  493. Carrie – Are you still there?

  494. Yes, but I don’t really smoke. That image just had me laughing so hard I was gasping for breath.

  495. Gosh …gosh … so much to say.

    Jenny – Have you told us where you are located? Are there any blog babies anywhere near you? Maybe you need a “witness,” someone who can stop by periodically and see what your husband is doing? We are scattered throughout the country, so chances are good there is someone not too far away.

    Summer plans:
    Northwest Connecticut – within driving range of Stephanie?
    IF I convince my sister to move here, I have already plotted our cross-country route, with several sacred places along the way: Grand Canyon, Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch, Rocky Ridge Farm, Willa Cather’s house, HA! I needed a Tennessee location and now I have one.
    Also – NYC is a four-hour drive – I can get there easily, Sher
    Northampton, MA the week of July 15

    Submitting so I can see if Carrie is still up.

  496. Hooray! Hi Carrie – I don’t smoke either!

  497. Glad you had such a good night out with your friend. I SOOOOOOOOO miss that here. I have realized how isolated I have become due to living in the country and really having ended up in a job where I don’t really have any colleagues.
    I have been thinking about you because I know you are an artist and also own that Chris Madden Room of Her Own book. I have my eyes on this little shed down the road for my own spot. My arty side has been re-awakened by everyone here, especially you and Sher. I was an English/Art double major in college but completely dropped the art side of myself.

  498. I know! I think that made it funnier! — I am so happy that you are looking for kindred spirits in your proximity. Best of course would be if your sister would just see reason and move next door.

  499. Man, I wish she would. She IS my best friend (after my husband, of course). But my husband is my best friend because he is my OPPOSITE and my sis and I are like spirit clones.

  500. Time to pick it up again. — I think of you in that little shack all the time, since you first mentioned it. I feel like my life is charmed, since the specter of actually having a studio of my own has heaved realistically into view (George, my good news is still in counteroffer limbo — but this or something better: it will happen in the perfect time. Thank you so much for asking, sorry for the delay in response). I SEE you there, Mo. Tell me what you’d do in there?

  501. Spirit clones smooth down all which is sticking up in cowlicks (like Haven always says — Cows: always funny).

  502. So, what do your next two years look like? My hubby and I are also planning our next two years. I have been offered a job as an adjunct at a local college which would involve a DRASTIC pay cut but a better schedule. I need a clarity committee to help me figure it out. Andy and I are meeting with our counselor (she’s new and awesome and is helping us sort out the Asperger’s from the not). We are at the 20-year mark of the farm, and I think the weight of that is weighing on us both.

  503. Wow! Did you get a financial break-through? Are you on your way to your own studio? Too cool!

    In my shed, I would write, do some arty stuff just for relaxation, do monk-like stuff, because I have a complete thing for monasteries. Kind of Thomas Mertony but also an escape from the Land of Much Aspergers (husband and two of my boys) and listen to weird music. I am on this total Kate Bush overdose, well, at least Hounds of Love.

  504. Wow. WOW. Those are big changes on the horizon, Mo. I thought you’d ruled out the adjunct position. And a counselor to help you sort out Asperger’s from the not? BRILLIANT. I’m so so happy for you I cannot stand it.

    I can’t tell you what exactly my next two years are like, but they have to do with raising a lot of cash (or finding a studio owner who will record on spec — CDs can be $20-30K to record, and that’s on a budget), starting to establish a virtual storefront, and learning some new software to enable the first two. All my favorite things.

  505. Cows ARE funny and they are also sweet and grounding. I almost wish I were milking again. I miss the cows. Eight years ago, I switched to part-time teaching and did the morning milking. I was in GREAT shape and Andy was calmer because I was in the barn. The problem was how tired I was by the afternoon when I was supposed to be teaching and also I was milking when the boys were getting ready for school.
    When we expanded and put in the mobile home for an employee, I went back to full-time teaching. But I have hit major burn-out on that front.

  506. I had ruled out the adjunct thing, but I am reconsidering. I really thought I was on the brink of selling my book for at least SOME money that might allow a year of … I don’t know what except being home more.
    Then my ersatz agent dumped me and I have been very despondent. Trying go back to much querying, but I am still a bit demoralized by the whole thing.

    Exciting about the potential CD and everything else! Have you seen the movie Once? I LOVE that movie and the soundtrack and the whole story of how those two have now taken off. Oh, I wish such things for you.

  507. Financial breakthroughs in every way, thanks, one of which was that brother and sis-in-law are looking to buy a house/shop and want me to rent it. There is a standalone garage which they have offered to plumb for gas (so I don’t have to keep buying propane) and build a ventilation system, and cut windows where I want them, for the natural light. The counteroffer is still outstanding, but if not this one, then the next — the circumstances will not change. It will be the end of summer at the earliest, but I will have a studio WHERE I LIVE. I am, as they say, over the moon.

  508. Ah – the mighty turkey hunters – Andy and Elliot – have returned. I must make the providers some breakfast.
    It was AWESOME chatting with you. Have you been to sleep? I’ll catch up with you later.
    Bye, Carrie!!! Congratulations!!!

  509. Oh, Maureen, and I wish such things for you, too! Your book is needed; I’m with everyone else that says your perfect agent is still out there. I love your blog and I love who you are so I love to read you. Almost doesn’t matter what you are writing about. I know it is just a matter of time before you are published.

    So have you made an offer on the shed? You need a refuge. No matter how much you adore your family, you need oasis. Kate and quiet.

    I haven’t seen Once; I will now.

  510. Thanks, Maureen! — No, you caught me out — I haven’t been to sleep. And it’s 4am, well past time. Awesome is definitely the word — I feel so gifted to have had a little Mo all to myself, before the birdies start to sing. ‘Night.

    Morning, Bug! Linda, AmyO, Amber! Smooches!

  511. Blog Babies all,

    You are so shockingly good that it takes my breath away. I have written and deleted several sentences trying to convey what is in my heart, but words are too crude a tool. I am without words.

    There is so much wisdom and kindness here that it would take me months to respond to it all, but every single one of you has touched my heart. I will read and reread your posts and hold them dear to me.

    I will respond to some of your most urgent inquiries and questions here, and it will take a long time. Skip the boring parts, and forgive me for not responding to each of you personally today. You may, in fact, be grateful for it after dealing with this lengthy entry.

    In re: husband wanting to keep me here… Although generally applicable in these situations, not so in this specific case. My husband wants nothing to do with me, nothing to do with this baby. What he wants is his privacy- his secrets. He is a brilliant chameleon, with separate and mutually-exclusive lives. And when I say he has secrets, I’m talking on the scale of finding an old resume of his two years into the marriage, doing the math, and finding that five years of his life were entirely missing. I have three separate explanations from him about that and still do not know which are true. Inquiries inspire icy fury and are best avoided. Just one example, but you get the picture.

    So this is a Philip Markoff type- not your run-of-the-mill, emotionally needy guy, capable of genuine emotional attachment. When I go, he will be relieved, as the marriage-related invasion of privacy has been an incredible strain on him. And he will let me go, because he doesn’t want scrutiny, and there would be scrutiny-aplenty if anything were to happen to me. He knows my family knows.

    In re: money situation impacting time-frame: if only my situation were not student-loan related, all that you’ve said would be true. However, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and failure to pay results in garnishment of wages. Currently, my student loan payments are $1600/month, which is more than half my take-home pay. These loans are held by three different lenders and have been consolidated as much as possible. If I put them on hold, the interest accumulates and the payments get higher. If I fail to pay altogether, each lender can garnishee my wages for 15%, which is… about half my take-home pay. I cannot escape or improve this situation. I have consulted an attorney who says the only way these loans could be discharged is if I come down with a fatal illness or permanent disability which would render me incapable of holding a job. There is no way out, which is why I have stayed where I am for so long. I cannot afford to support myself at this point.

    So, I must save as much money as I can until this baby is born so that I can buy myself a few months to settle, adjust to being a mom, and establish a new life. There is no way around it. I need to keep this job, and I cannot afford to live by myself right now, so here I must stay.

    In re: plans to leave and current Geography: I currently live north of NYC (had been living in Manhattan, 4 blocks from the hospital where we work, until last month, when my husband came home and informed me that he had rented an apartment outside the city without my knowledge and that we would be moving in two weeks. We moved).

    My mother lives in the Adirondacks, where I grew up. She and her husband are retired and I will likely be having the baby up there. I will stay with mom and her husband through the holidays to have some help at first. After that, I will be moving to Northern Virginia, where my father and his wife have just commissioned the building of a new house, complete with mother-in-law-apartment, where Jenny, baby, and granddogs Elsa and Moses are welcome to live for free while I get on my feet.

    Things will be OK. I am mostly alone, since my husband doesn’t come home from “work” (or wherever he is) until midnight or so and is gone again in the morning.

    OK, so that’s a tome. You will forgive me if I could not respond individually to you today. You have awakened my soul- it’s like the Wizard of Oz scene where Dorothy emerges from a black-and-white world into a Technicolor place.

    Thank you for warming my life! I intend to stick around for a while, get myself on track, and return the favor in better times by being here for each of you, forever and ever.

  512. Hi Carrie! Hi Mo!

    I AM totally burned out. When I read that line that Maureen wrote I just realized that is me. I have been burned out for years. And, as everyone keeps giving such thoughtful and caring advice to Jenny, I am thinking that I can be very distant and sullen with my husband. I am not like this with anyone else. I hate it. I think I have just been disappointed for so long now that all I comes out of my mouth when I am in the same room with him is a sigh. And then another one. Deep long and very loud sighs. Ugh. Even when he tries to do something nice. It is just too little too late and I am so mean for not appreciating anything he does. I try to appreciate him, I really do, but then I try to talk about money with him and I end up frustrated and in tears. And I don’t like to lose control. I am just going to have to open up about this in my AA meeting this morning. I am working on my 4th step- writing out regrets and fears and frustrations going back as far as I can remember. I started at about 3 years old and I am only now at about 6.

    I really believe that staying in this marriage will be bad for both of us. Once Emma leaves for college I need to start figuring out how I can do this. Sam can live with his dad. He has a house just up the street. I am torn about my precious Foster. I know I can take Emma’s cat, Iris, to most any rental place, but it will break my heart to leave Foster. I know we will need to sell this house because he cannot afford it on his own (I have always paid the mortgage – and the home equity loan we have on the mortgage)….I hate for money to be so huge of a part of this but I have that Protestant/Boy Scout (my father)responsibility/guilt with me constantly.

    Guilt!! Guilt is a HUGE issue with me. I blame myself for everything – EVERYTHING. I guess I still have a very long way to go in my recovery. My addiction is so much larger than alcohol- more than I ever realized now that alcohol is not in the equation.

    Thanks for listening.

  513. I love the movie Once. I LOVE IT.

    Jenny, remember what Haven said in her last post: something something something the blog babies are people you can trust and are good.

    We already love you. Let us help.

    Ok, enough from me on that. I am sorry for being pushy.

    Today is a bra shopping day! I went yesterday because Amber bought a new bra that I turned green with envy over and it was on SALE. So I went yesterday and bought FOUR bras. 4!!!! One is sexy-sexy (a perfect dark blue like sky after a storm when the clouds are gone) with lace that’s actually SOFT so it doesn’t scratch. When I am pantless in Japan, while I won’t be thinking of the blog babies for long, at least I will have a little giggle.

    By the way, I hate bra shopping, so Target is my new god because I actually found a size that FITS, mostly, and are PRETTY which are hard to find in big knocker-size. Sniffle. You shoulda have seen the pretty A cup bras. I don’t think I ever was an A. A smug-selfsatisifed B throughout high school, but yeah. Not no more.

    Ok, enough TMI for the guys (I know the ladies could care less.). I love you!!!

    Oh–expert blog babies–could it just be tiredness that you makes unhungry for days at a time? I don’t feel sick at all. But, even Kate, the first night we met in person, was like “You had a sandwich at 11? It’s 6 now? Have a bon bon!” then helped me pry off the lid. It’s weird. Anyway, just thought I’d ask.

    Ta ta!

  514. Jenny

    You do have a plan, and it seems rock-solid. I am so glad. I feel certain you will know if you must leave your home earlier, due to an escalation. His hours/habits seem as though yes, he has checked out emotionally. GOOD.

    You’re a grown woman, and I admire the way you have worked this out. My love and prayers are with you. The fact is, if he hasn’t hit you in the long past he is not likely to begin now: he is a classic verbal abuser. My ex was as well. He never touched me, but he did many of the things you described. Play it cool as you have been. I also went home to my parents after my abusive relationship ended, or rather after I ended it. It was the right thing to do. They will dote on your baby and you also have plans afterward. I trust you.

    xo sfc

  515. Oh, Linda. I’m sorry.

    Guilt is my secret addiction too. I say that with no trace of humor or irony. I am so sorry.

    If it is too little too late, then it’s good that you recognize that.

    Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

  516. Jenny- I guess we were writing at the same time. You really are planning your escape! Good for you! I am not organized like that. How I wish I was but I just am not. My mind just starts racing when I think about how to deal with this because I don’t want to hurt my husband but in my heart I know that staying with him when I am not in love with him will ultimately hurt him more than any inconvenience that moving out would incur.

    Oh, the Adirondecks! I spent several days at Long Lake last summer and it was heaven. I think it is my spiritual home. My father grew up in Schnectady, NY and he spent summers there with family and at a Y camp and then with the Boy Scouts. My father spent his entire career as a professional with the Boy Scouts, starting as a field guy in 1955 and ending up as the Scout Executive of Chicago about 12 years ago. I know that the best times of his life were spent there but I have never been there myself until last summer.

    Virginia or North Carolina are very likely to be places I will live next. I lived in Northern VA – Vienna and Centerville, for 5 years before moving down here to Nashville in 1986.

    Do what you need to do, Jenny. You sound like a very smart woman and you do have a plan so I trust this will all work out. Let us know how we can help you along the way. If you just need us to listen that is ok. If you need more just ask. We are here for you.

  517. Wow. So many beautiful posts while I slept.
    Carrie and Mo-hugs to you, I loved reading your plans!
    Jenny- 1600 a month in student loans. My lord. I CANNOT FATHOM that. I am so relieved to know that you and your baby ( and your doggies) will have a home at your father’s house.
    Linda, I grew up in a home where my mom was not happy. She waited until I was a senior in high school and finally left..after years of guilt kept her hostage.
    She is the happiest woman I know and thanks god everyday she had the courage to finally get the hell out of there.
    PS. Many, many rental houses ( and apartments) take dogs. I know your love for Foster and I KNOW you will need him when you start your new life.
    xoxox

  518. :::Giggle:::: Molly is getting new bras for Japan!!

  519. Carrie!!!! What a good news!!! Your voice is amazing. And I have a song that I think you’d sound amazing singing. Though I am sure you have your own music to make and don’t want to do covers. Hmm. I’ll email you later. :)

    Maureen!!! Since I can’t be physically present to be on your clarity council, I wll meditate on it and throw a few rosaries your way. Do you think that will help?

  520. Ok, I am MAD.

    Jenny’s post WAS NOT THERE when I posted about my underwear.

    So, I apologize heartily, Jenny, that after you poured your heart out, I responded with talk of my new underwear. :(

    Even more important—–Thank God, Jenny. I was so worried.

  521. Molly,

    It’ll be okay– really. The universe will balance out, if only because I promise to never, not ever, no never post about my underwear, new or old, regardless of whatever post doth precede my offerings.

    (Oh, you make me laugh.)

    Jenny,

    Thanks.

    ~ S.

  522. Have we an updated birthday list yet?

  523. See? Sarah’s post wasn’t there when I posted the birthday thing. I think I hate my computer. Or Word Press. Or whatever causes delay. (notice I am not pointing any more fingers at ME…)

  524. Linda…
    It would be nice if you moved to NC, and Sam went to school at UNC and we could be geographical friends in addition to virtual ones…

  525. I have added a new description to my list of what this blog is. One and two were:

    1 An endless reunion of the metaphysical nursery school we all attended before passing through Lethe and landing here on Earth
    2 A cyber Irish pub (with non-alcoholic drinks available for FREE) where we stop in for morning coffee, lunch break, happy hour after work, up all night, whatever and whenever, someone is there

    And here is my new one:

    A Multitude of Technological Angels!
    (this is an Iodine reference for those who have not read it yet)

    Jenny – I must be one of your closest blog babies. Where exactly are you north of NYC? I am north of Binghamton, and New York is only four hours away. I go there once in a while – will go that way more often for a good reason!

  526. Molly – Thank you for the rosary and contemplations. I need to actually sit and list out my options for nest year. (Whoa, typo for “next”, I believe that was Freudian)

    Amber – Thanks for the ride. In my dream last night I was on an odd pilgrimage (kind of a modern Canterbury thing in trucks and campers with lots of people, including many of you all) to all the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites. I get left behind at a gift shop in the supposed location of Plum Creek and you Amber came and picked me up to get me back to the campground. Thanks for that!

  527. 4 The only sorority I would ever have contemplated joining

  528. Linda…here is a little UNC story for Sam

  529. Jenny — again, I apologize for any intrusive overtones in my post; your comments over the past week had me worried beyond measure. I am relieved that your plan is so rock-solid, and trust that your intuition and smarts will guide you. All my prayers and good thoughts are with you.

  530. Sherrill –
    What a cool event/video!! Thanks for sharing that.
    Now, I want to hear more about you being a former hippie and now owning chickens. Methinks we have summat in common, you and I. We definitely ended up farming via the hippie route.

    Here is one of the happiest videos I know of. It is The Chieftains (a traditional Irish band) with Great Big Sea (a Newfoundland Celtic Rock/Newfie traditional band). I had heard this song many times before I saw the video, but once I saw Alan Doyle (the long-haired guy singing) I immediately got every Great Big Sea thing I could get, except for Alan Doyle himself – my exact type!! My dream to see them next time they are in the States. OR get to Newfoundland some day.

  531. Molly bug, you slay me with the bras and the pantlessness and the bon bons! — and I would love to hear this song of which you speak. Thank you for all your very kind words and also AmyO.

    Mo needs a Room of Her Own, does she not?

    Sarah: I LOVED your story about your 17-year-old’s reaction after you’d been blogging here. A side note: when I read your posts, I am smiling as wide as you likely were.

  532. I would alternately take Sean McCann, the guy on the drum.

    Oh, and the Blog sorority must be co-ed.

  533. I am chafing. My computer is falling apart, card by card. A few weeks ago the sound card (your YouTube posts taunt me). Then my scanner stopped working for no apparent reason, even after repeated uninstalls and reinstalls. The computer itself has become GLACIAL in its speed. I ordered a new shiny wonder machine last week, but it’s a week to build and a week to ship, but oh how it can’t come soon enough, because I love the Chieftans, and now I want to hear that video.

  534. Linda: I’m so sorry — I am overfamiliar with that feeling, and it’s just morass. Still, I have to say, I am just so proud to know you. What you’ve done is huge. A year dry has given you the tools to look at the situation clear-eyed, as you are doing now. And AmyO is right. If you do split, Foster will be more emotional sustenance to you than you thought possible. xoxo C

  535. Well, while we’re all youtubing, let me add this song:

    It’s the Irish Rovers. Here are the lyrics if you’re a visual “listener” like me. :)

    I just down from the Isle of Skye
    I’m no very big but I’m awful shy
    All the lassies shout as I walk by,
    “Donald, Where’s Your Trousers?”

    Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low
    Through the streets in my kilt I go
    All the lassies cry, “Hello!
    Donald, where’s your trousers?”

    I went to a fancy ball
    It was slippery in the hall
    I was afeared that I may fall
    Because I nay had on trousers

    I went down to London town
    To have a little fun in the underground
    All the Ladies turned their heads around, saying,
    “Donald, where’s your trousers?”

    The lassies love me every one
    But they must catch me if they can
    You canna put the breeks on a highland man, saying,
    “Donald, where’s your trousers?”

  536. Carrie–I will just put it here, since I love it so much. That way everyone can share. I LOVE this song. It touches me.

    Sarah knows my favorite line.

  537. Oh Norabarnacles!!! What fun!!!!! I don’t think my college would have allowed such a thing to occur. :( But man, if I could go to to college full-time again (and pretend none of my present obligations exist), I’d choose that area for sure. It’d be too great to be near Babies!

    Maureen–loved the video. Love Celtic music. Sigh.

    Carrie–ahem. The pantslessness started with AmyO. :)

  538. Thank you, Jenny, for the new posting…I feel better and less worried about you…less, not totally unworried…your husband sounds like Haven’s first husband to me, just from the little she has revealed about him to us.
    This blog is my convent, and you all are my sisters and brothers of my heart.
    Maureen…the Grand Canyon?! I would love to meet you there if even for a few hours, one hour, anything!
    Linda…Guilt is really impossible to get rid of in my experience anyway, the best I could do was to disassociate emotion from it as much as possible…recognize it and let it flow through you while you observe it. It’s like guilt is a person and you and that person are co-dependent. It does get better, really it does.
    Molly bug you are so funny.
    Pantlessness is just an evolution of the no underwear in the house paradigm, isn’t it?
    Dana the beloved and tolerant has helped me clean the house..he mopped the floors while I got the groceries bless his heart, so now we get to relax on the couch with the cocker spaniels and a good movie. I will consider pantlessness. hee hee
    Happy Saturday babies!

  539. Hahahaha! Whatever Molly, I have no idea what you are talking about. You are the one posting about your undies:)
    Okay, yes, I started the no pants. But may I concur on Target having excellent bras.
    I bought 3 new books today!! What are they you ask?
    Change me into Zeus’s Daughter
    Girl Interrupted
    Strip Land ( memoir of a stripper)
    Oh, so I purchased my books at a local new and used book store that I love and while I was there a local author was doing a book signing. His book was titled “What does God want from me” or something like that. So I was listening to him sell his book to an elderly woman by describing how America is lost and they have no idea where to turn. And all I kept thinking was how I was so thankful for this group and how much I have learned about myself, my God, and humanity in general in this past year.

  540. I’d post a pic of me modeling one of the new bras for you poke-funners(I actually did send a pic to my sis because I wasn’t sure if it was sexy or not–Megan says ‘NOT’ because polka dots ARE. NOT. SEXY.) but I think it IS sexy, and therefore too incendiary for this blog. :)

    I’m grateful for this blog too. I feel like I now have a community that thinks big thoughts and then helps me think through my own smaller thoughts. I definitely feel the love here.

  541. hmm. STILL don’t have the bold thing down.

  542. Polka dots are sexy..and so is cotton, if it is simple.

  543. How do I turn off the bold?

    Maybe I will email YOU the picture!

    LOL. Just kidding.

  544. Sher, you asked for travel plans. I travel a lot for business but the travel that I know about and have some control over:

    May 23 – 30, Fort Myers Beach
    First week of June: Orlando
    June 25 – 27 Nashville, attending the Christian Scholars Conference at Lipscomb. Note that Billy Collins is speaking Friday evening at said conference, I think that session will be open to the public.
    Last week of July: Hot Springs, VA

    Jenny–so glad you have a plan. The abrupt move out of Manhattan is worrying me though . . . Keep us posted.

    Linda, my heart aches for you. I am glad you have an AA group you can talk to about these things.

  545. I forget who mentioned the new Elizabeth Berg book, I downloaded it to my Kindle last night and it is GREAT so far . .

    Love her! Thanks for the tip! The title is “Home Safe.”

  546. Hi, guys! Amy and Carrie, do not feel abashed about anything you have said. Every single word is precious to me.

    Spirit, I love the DENIAL acronym, which is utterly fitting. Thank you.

    Molly, I laughed out loud at your underwear post, and hearing ‘Read my mind’ made my spirit soar.

    I could not get the Trousers link to work, but the lyrics are terrific, as are the Chieftans, in every way.

    Maureen, your list of BB-wondrousness is fine and true.

    George, your description of your trip was truly breathtaking. Thank you.

    Linda, you don’t have the benefit of a 9-month deadline, so it makes things much harder for you. When your heart is heavy and you feel like you’re going through life in a lead coat, it’s very hard to take on an ambitious project that could wait another day or two or three, and staying sober is one ambitious project already.

    Although it makes perfect logical sense to start your new life, it makes no emotional sense to voluntarily move toward an incredibly painful process when you can’t see a light on the other side. AND you can’t drink, to boot. You need a beacon to move toward. Maybe you’re not quite strong enough to do it right now, but you will know when it is time. We will be a small beacon, waiting for you, holding steady.

    (Sigh). There is a pharmacological term, LD50 (or ‘Lethal Dose, 50%’), which describes the dose at which a particular drug is likely to be fatal to half of the recipients. I think heartache can be like that. There’s a dose at which 50% of people lose their lives or lose their souls. …The other 50% turn into Blog Babies or their spiritual kindred.

    That there is still so much wonder and joy here rising up from so much collective sorrow, is a testament to humanity.

    I love you guys.

  547. Mary Lou . . .while you are in Nashville (if I am not traveling, we can do lunch or or dinner or something with Linda??

    Jenny. crimey. i am almost speechless (this is rare) – I feel better knowing more details and am mainly happy that he seems to be in a ‘let go’ mood.

    i’m tired. i swear we had tornado weather last night…power on and off (so no blogging) read by candle light.

    cranky and exhausted today but worked in the studio for 4 hours . . . off for food and bath

    it was so good to hear everybody though . . . i missed a party for sure last night!

  548. Amy – I know Girl, Interrupted inside and out because I taught it a bunch of years to a Health Careers class. About a billion billion times better than the movie.Far and away.
    Susanna Kaysen also wrote a novel called Far Afield which I really like a lot because it is about life on a tiny northern island with whale hunters – it makes dairy farming seem not quite so extreme in contrast.

    Taz is calling me to help with dinner. A bien tot. Or whatever. I’m a Latin kinda girl, not French.

  549. Can I just say polka dots = sexy?

    Also, if my last post was cryptic, please do yourself a favor and watch this:

    and then, watch this.

    http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/pampers/981315/

  550. I can definitely do lunch with Sher and Mary Lou – and I would love love love to hear Billy Collins.

    Ok. Hypothetical question for everyone:

    Let’s say you have one bathroom in your house. The house was built in 1959 and the toilet is original to the house. This particular hypothetical house and bathroom got lucky in that the 50s tile colors used were grey and a violet that is very close to grey. The aforementioned toilet’s seat and cover have seen better days and have needed to be replaced for several years. The woman who lives in this hypothetical house asked for a new toilet seat for Xmas. Yup. Did not get one. But, if she were to get one- what color would/should it be? Remember, the toilet – the entire toilet is grey. The bathroom tile is grey and violet grey. Even if you are not an interior decorator, what color seat and seat cover would one want on a GREY toilet?

    Hypothetically speaking, of course.

  551. Bad Link! Here’s a good one:

  552. I would get a toilet seat with embedded poker chips and playing cards.

  553. Seriously, it doesn’t have to match as long as it’s complementary.

  554. Just returned from an afternoon spent with my husband on one of the Channel Islands and am so relieved to find that Jenny is safer than I imagined.

    Jenny, I’m glad you’re here.

    On the trip back from the island we saw dolphins and a few humpback whales – very cool. On the ride over to the island I saw nothing because I was trying not to be sick.

  555. Blah. Maybe I am too critical. But, good grief, a dark grey toilet with a bright white seat and cover? When none NONE of the other tile items in the bathroom are white? Ok. I am going to take a deep breath and go to Target tomorrow and get a bright pink fuzzy cover for it.

  556. Linda, it should be grey. You probably won’t find one that color at home depot so I say get a whole new toilet in white. Toilets are cheap and if I have to order it for you and you just pick it up I will. I am serious. You heard me.
    Don’t wait for your husband to do it.
    Happy one year sobriety from me. xoxo

  557. Thank you, Caryl, for understanding. I feel as if my whole life has been one big exercise in mediocrity. How much is it to ask to have the damn seat match the toilet? Good grief. I just googled it and i can order a grey seat for about $35. How freakin hard is that?

    Caryl, you are so right. I just have to start doing things for myself because he just does not get it and he never will get it and all it is doing is frustrating me. I am going to order it right now!

    I’ll be right back!!

  558. Happy toilet seat ordering, Linda!

    Wow.
    ;)

  559. Kate,

    Here’s my favorite Kristen Wiig skit:

    http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/surprise-party/237294/

    ~ S.

  560. Linda, I will be buying a new dog bowl tomorrow for the same reason. Is it REALLY IMPOSSIBLE to have a dog bowl that is not in 3 pieces?

    Good on you for buying it yourself!

    Jenny–heartache is absolutely lethal. Absolutely.

  561. I know there has to be a life lesson in this somewhere.
    :)

  562. Here is the whole scoop and poop from Mayo Clinic. Come on over to my blog to read it. Its too long to post here.

    http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/my-quest-to-seek-the-truth-at-mayo-clinic/

    I’m off to bed, still tired from the almost 13 hour drive. Will have to catch up with the group tomorrow. Hope you all are good! And thanks again to all of you for listening and reading what i’ve been going through these past nine days. Love you guys!!!!

  563. Page 417. :)

  564. Kate and Linda…
    Personally, I want the complementary toilet seat…the one that says ‘Thank you so much for sitting on me’ and ‘Your ass definately looks thinner sitting here!” in an ingratiating and warm voice when you use it. Who cares what color it is as long as it does that?

  565. Linda, it’s things like this that indicate to me brokeness. There are all these small things we can do for people we (are supposed to) love and yet we don’t. For instance, WHY won’t my father make the DVD case he promised my mom? WHY wouldn’t Rob call if he was going to be late? WHY do I find it so hard to give a compliment when one is deserved?

    The little things add up and aren’t little things after awhile.

    But then, these same little things can denote healing instead of brokeness. When you’re able to do those little things without resentment, you grow as a person. I think it should deepen your love for whomever you’re helping or thinking of. (“You” here, of course, if the general “you” not you Linda.)

    There are times I resent getting up a thousand times a night to help my mom in/out of bed, but then there are those moments when, as I put her legs up on the mattress, help her get them under the covers, straighten her nightgown, that I’m struck by how many thousands of times she must have done the same thing for me when I was a baby, a toddler, a sick child.

    I resent it, and I’m grateful for it. And I hope that I grow from it.

  566. I know this sounds like a petty little issue. I know it does. But, we only have one bathroom in our house. If we had several I would definitely have fun with one of them. As it is, this one bathroom is falling apart at the seams and as with everything I don’t have money to renovate it. I am such a mess. I just feel like a failure. Jenny was so right when she said it can feel like we are going through life with a lead coat on when our hearts are heavy. I really do feel like that.

    Sorry, y’all. Hormones or something. Ack. I am going to go read and snuggle up with Foster. xoxo

  567. Thanks, Molly. That helped. love ya

  568. Love you right back.

  569. Oh Linda, I didn’t mean to be flippant..I was hoping to lighten your mood…I know how frustrating it is to live with a man who doesn’t seem to hear you..even tho I call Dana the beloved and tolerant, which he is,he still can’t ever remember not to spread his things all over the kitchen…I’ve even cooked on TOP of his stuff and he doesn’t seem to notice…I think they’re really an alien species.
    Hugs go out to you.
    Still. I want a complimentary toilet seat.

  570. Linda, I have met you, and I can tell you for certain that you are NOT a failure.

    1. You are trying.
    2. You are loved here.

    Need I continue with a list of reasons why you are the complete opposite of failure? :)
    :: hugs ::

  571. Kittery, I think you should continue. We all need a list of why people love us sometimes.

    I’m going to add:

    Because Sam is so great! You did that, Linda!
    Because you lent me Audio Zippy without a qualm. (I am working on getting that back to you, by the way. :) In case you were wondering…)

  572. 1. You are trying.
    2. You are loved here.
    3. You raised Sam.
    4. You lent Molly your Zippy audiobook.
    5. You raised Emma.
    6. You love your pup. Need I say more?
    7. You care that your toilet is well-dressed. Failures, historically, don’t give a damn about their toilets.
    8. You have the prettiest eyes.
    9. You work hard for things that important, even if it’s difficult: being sober, college, etc..
    10. You love Lilacs. Props, lady, props. They are the bestest flower, ever. :)
    11. You knew who I was in Durham without needing to be ‘introduced’. Brava. :)

    EVERYONE is welcome to add to the itemized list and Linda, if you need further proof, I WILL PROVIDE! :D

  573. God, Kittery. This is just ONE of the many reasons I love you.

  574. :: grins :: Thanks? :)

  575. Linda, I meant it when I said find a complementary color. NOT COMPLIMENTARY (unless that means free…then, by all means!)You will work this out. My bathroom is so stupid I don’t even have a bathmat, I don’t feel like shelling out $8 for such an ugly room. I just stick a dirty towel on the floor.

    Sarah, I LOVE the sketch too. Great.

  576. See? I am a historic failure…I don’t give a damn about my toilet!

  577. Yes but Kate, you bring Oreo Bon-Bons into the world .. those things almost cancel each other out. ;)

  578. I’m changing my name to Oreo Bon-Bon!

  579. Do it!

  580. toilets are a pet peeve of mine.

    in one house . . . we had issues with the toilets constantly dripping . . . so you would have to lift off the heavy lid, jiggle the thingy and, if you are in a good mood, put it back on . . . all three toilets did this. within 5 years, I had broken all three lids because I would drop them (bad back and decimated wrists – I can’t hold much in a hand) onto the tile floors and they would shatter.

    one would ASSUME that there are universal toilet lids, no? NO F—-ING WAY. also the whole elongated and regular size . . .completely confusing.

    I’d order the gray one . . . or a whole new toilet like CARYL said, then I would charge it in his name, leave him the bill for the install, etc. then next time you ask him to do something, maybe he will LEAP off the couch.

    My mother in law used this method for 40 plus years . . . she had handy men in all the time ‘servicing the house’.

    another example is that I know a certain lady who had her boyfriend come over and do all the things needed in the house and THE HUSBAND didn’t mind! Less for him to do. I’m not kidding. and these people were in their 50’s.

    Can your ex-hubby come help . . . 2 of his kids sit on that seat, too!!!

  581. i am baking cookies this week . . . which night is good for you Linda – come on over . . . perhaps Wednesday night?????

  582. where’ elvis? has he left the building?

  583. You all are too much. I love you all!

    I was being my old alcoholic self last night. Just without the alcohol. I forgot about gratitude and I was hanging on to something stupid and inconsequential. So I have LET IT GO.

    And, I am trying not to feel guilty about it. I am just LETTING IT GO.

    And I am being grateful. Because…

    I looked at my Sher encaustic in the hallway;
    my lovely green Carrie earrings;
    my FEAR NO EVIL painting from Caryl;
    Haven’s words to me in her own hand inside Iodine;
    the martini glass Augusten drew in Dry for me;

    and then I thought about:
    George riding his bike along the Potomac and peddling faster because he is not smoking anymore;
    Kate and Baby Alice- hugs!;
    Kittery’s smile and sense of humor and strength;
    Maureen covered in mud and still smiling, not to mention her love of Latin which reminds me of my daughter;
    Suzanne- can there be anyone more beautiful and more hysterically funny? I think not.
    Molly and Amber fighting over which one is the most shy. ha ha. Neither!!
    AmyO and Polly sneaking by Jon and Kate’s house. LOL
    Brenda’s sock monkey reading a book;
    Jim Shue’s real sock monkey, Riley (and Robbie!)
    Dee- who is wise beyond words;
    MichaelT’s art;
    Sherrill’s generosity of spirit;
    Amanda and her clouds;
    Gigi and her humor and strength;
    Steph and her baby boy with the red hair and her sober husband. Yes!;
    Kim- who was so sweet at the reading and made my son think I was famous. ha!
    Jenny, Mary Lou and all the newcomers and lurkers here;
    Steph and Scott with whom I would go to endless Exit/In shows if they lived near Nashville;
    Brandon- who started out as my gay boyfriend but is now just a true dear friend…
    For those I have missed because I have not really gotten to know you well yet but whom will think about in 5 minutes and say OH NO!

    May the circle be unbroken. By and by, Lord, by and by! How can I be sad about a toilet seat when I have all of these treasures? I cannot. xoxo

  584. Linda. What a good reminder.

  585. Yeah guys!! Thanks Linda and I especially endorse that you have raised some beautiful children..Sam’s picture with you in Durham is lovely…I think of the John Lennon song beautiful beautiful boy.
    Sweethearts all.

  586. Linda – what a great list. Tell that old alcoholic shush from me!

    Molly – You bra chatter killed me. Trust me, anyone who buys an A cup bra doesn’t find them cute. You are embarrased at how tiny your boombs are. (I was an A cup until I was 25, and hated it, hated it, hated it.)

    I had to laugh when I was reviewing the toilet chatter. I have one that will confuse you, as it does me. I turn every toilet seat we have in the house dark blue. Seriously. I can tell its my butt imprint because its big, and everyone else here is skinny or ten years old. I’m wondering if I have some weird chemical imbalance, and I’m not talking the crazy kind. What causes this? Its been over a year and three toilet seats later …

  587. Shelby went to prom last night here’s a picture.

    p.s. She made her own dress!

  588. well that didn’t work -lol

  589. Shelby is gorgeous, Dee! Great work on the dress. I love how the flowers on her wrist match the design in the fabric. I hope they had a fun time!

    I am off to take Sam to the Harris Teeter grocery store to fill out an application. He has finally realized that there are worse things than bagging groceries at age 16 because at the end of the pay period it is all the same money. And better to get paid minimum wage to bag groceries – and probably get tips from nice old ladies when you help them to their cars – that a lot of other things some kids have to do to earn money. Shoot- some things many adults do.

  590. LINDA

    i need a new toilet seat cover. i am not joking when i say it has PLAGUED ME for years! but it’s a $&#@@ custom size toilet and so the ones at Yarget don;t fit. i actually cut out a cardboard model of the toilet seat cover, to bring to home depot. i now have the WILL to do so. THANK YOU.

    PLEASE.

    yes, i AM that fucked up.

    oh and i have the new elizabeth berg novel, and i am getting a contact emotion from it: the main character is a widow, in the book, and now i am grieving my own widowhood, which has never happened.

    !!!!!

  591. Maureen, you are very welcome for the ride. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has with you guys in it. This one sounded cool; usually, in mine, one of you will just show up in whatever situation I’m in, say something cryptic and then leave. Sher runs off laughing, lol.

    Oh, and I like it here too. I’m glad I found you guys and came out of the woodwork. I look forward to checking in all the time ;-)

    And I have to rememer to look up a gray toilet. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen such a thing.

    I have horrible internet today. I don’t know what’s going on, but I can barely connect.

  592. I once had a pink toilet . . . and it was in a fairly new house at the time, the people custom built the house, then the guy committed suicide in 6 months (hung himself in our garage from the attic beams. . . the woman abandoned the house and we came along . . . that suicide still screwed up the sale of that house 4 years later . . .

    perhaps the ghost lived in the pink toilet . . . but it was the other house that had the dripping toilets . . .

    i am happy to report I have no toilet issues right now, but we have blue toilet water, which the kids all love. I think toilet seats should be replaced every few years REGARDLESS

  593. celebrating . . . another art sale! enough to buy lots more beeswax (of which I am running low, even though I am ‘minding my OWN beeswax).

    12 hours in the studio this weekend!!!!!

  594. linda, you made me cry when i read your list. the circle is not broken. you are truly an inspiration. i mean it.

    just got back from a sudden trip to NJ where a good friend of ours lost his dad very suddenly. andy (the dad) was not feeling well and his wife finally convinced him to go to the hospital as they were away from home in wisconsin and andy had a heart condition. he went to the ER, got a ‘clean bill of health’ and was released. andy and his wife lyn were walking a few hours later that evening and he dropped dead. JUST LIKE THAT. we all rallied around our friend klapp (nickname from his last name: klappholz–and his actual name is andrew after his dad) and went down to NJ.

    it was so strange to see all these people who are GREAT friends bc we were going to a funeral. it is so cliche, but life is too short and i want to see the people i love more often. not just for weddings, deaths or births. sometimes just because and i feel like i need to remember that every day. i HATE that it takes a huge life event for me to draw it all back into perspective. seeing old, dear friends is so so so important. life seems to be flying by, kids growing up, people getting sick, people getting married…on and on and on.

  595. Steph, I’m so sorry for all of that loss. I am right there with you on the wishing it were different as far as needing life cataclysms to remind us how ridiculously short a life is. Even the full-term ones.

    Linda, I’m holding you in my heart.

  596. Shelby’s a beauty, Dee. You must be beside yourself with pride. Linda with Emma and Caryl with Stephany, too.

  597. Kittery, I was going to tell you my lilac story that came up after my evening with my herbalist/weaver friend Linny. She had a lilac bush in full bloom, and while she was cutting some for me, I told her about how when I was in junior high, we got out for summer vacation around the first week of June. And the lilacs started blooming…oh, right about this time of year. So every girl that had a lilac tree in her back yard (and there were many) brought armloads of them to school and dispensed a flower cluster to everyone who didn’t have one. So, by mid-day, every classroom smelled like lilacs, aka summer vacation acoming. Still associate the smell with that excitement and anticipation. Not bad as far as Proustian memories go, right?

  598. I must have that kind of lilac association hidden in my subconscious, Carrie.

  599. I do not like lilacs. Maybe because they don’t grow here? :( But I love how much you all love them.

    I love magnolia trees and gardenias, though. Can I be any more Southern?

  600. I BOLDED !!!!!

    THANK YOU, SARAH!!!!!

  601. Carrie, Y enjoyed that lilac story. Mmm.

    You ladies need to go to Mackinaw Island for the lilac festival. You would just adore it. Its a quaint little Michigan Island between the UP and lower peninsula and no cars are allowed. Total bliss. Eat fudge all day and ride bikes. Tour historic battle sites. Carriage rides. You make me want to go there now.

  602. Fudge all day?

    I LOVE LILACS!!!!

  603. Molly,

    You could always Bold. It was the stopping that was a wee bit o’ a problem.

    For any and all help, the thanks goes to Carrie, whose clear instructions made the difference. Oh, and also Amanda, who used strike-through text in one of her latest posts so I knew that, armed with Carrie’s basic formatting instructions, I could make strike-through text work here as well.

    Kate,

    Having seen that SNL party skit I’m just waiting for someone to involve me in the planning of a party, and especially to ask if we should have balloons, so I can scream-growl, YAAAAEEESSSSS!

    ‘Cause I’d be so freakin’ excited.

    ~ S.

  604. Carrie,

    It’s interesting to me that June is lilac month for you. Around here, April has indeed always been the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land (Eliot, with the spelling of “cruellest” his as well).

    I was married in mid-May, and wanted lilacs for my wedding. Little did I know that this desire would send my friends scrambling, as most of the lilac bushes here in PA were almost done blossoming by the time my wedding day arrived. My friends came through for me, I had lilacs, and only later did they tell me how far they’d roamed (the morning of my wedding) to pull that off.

    ~ S.

  605. Look at Sarah, showing off with her italics .
    :)

  606. Sarah, those are good friends. (Couldn’t resist, LB.)

    “Fudge all day? I LOVE LILACS!!!!” SPIT TAKE, Molly!

    Mackinaw Island is where I wanna be, where I’m gonna be, next year. It sounds divine. — GiGi, I read your latest blog post — I am agog at what you’ve been up against and I bow to your superior tolerance and your fight. (Oh, and to your superior husband.) Also? you are gorgeous WITHOUT makeup and highlights. I’m glad you’ve got answers, especially that it isn’t cancer or Cushing’s (which my sister has, and it is hideous).

    Magnolia trees and gardenias — what’s not to love? I failed, yet tried again every year, to get my new budded out gardenia plant to flower. The buds always turn brown and drop off. Lack of mist? Too much direct light? They don’t tell me, but maybe I’m not listening well enough.

  607. And Sarah, I’m going to have a party and invite you and then ask if we should have balloons, just so I can hear you scream/growl, “YAAAAEEESSSSS!” THAT would make my year.

  608. SFC, I just read Home Safe today, in one sitting, and I am still GLOWING with pleasure. And Caryl, I owe you an email, but I liked House Rules and LOVED The Suicide Index. Read that first of the 3 you mentioned.

    I am gearing up from one rental to another here in San Diego. The next couple of weeks are going to be stress-y for me, moving always is, a throwback to the 999 moves of my youth. My new place is a duplex that feels like a house, private, old hardwood and tile but updated fixtures, heaven. Can’t wait for the new space, but dreading the packing/moving.

  609. Good morning, Babies!
    We have entered the Tasmanian portion of the year – I will post on this when I get some time.
    Shanna – Good luck with the move – how exciting, in a stressful kind of way.
    Thanks for the SNL skits – that surprise party sketch was just hysterical!
    I am on for only a few minutes because I have to go teach some kids some stuff. Today’s lesson: The Supreme Court, Souter, nominations, etc. I am hoping against hope that I can find the powerpoint I made last year.
    Later! Love you all!

  610. well i wish you were all here with me last night/this morning! Spent lovely hours upon hours in heaven (the studio), ate dinner, and then went back into heaven until just a few minutes . . . which means that 18 out of the last 24 were in heaven.

    we were sunk in with rain this weekend, but that gave a ‘license’ to be kind of lazy after the mad cleaning/party of last week.

    lauren decided to learn the whole dance to THRILLER . . . and she did, now she can barely move after 2 days of dancing . . . ha! If I did it twice, I might love a lb.

    Started a memoir: Under a Wing by Reeve Lindbergh . . . I am loving it, it has quick chapters that are almost devotional like and I am just relishing each word.

    Ok . . . off to send Claire to school and then crawl into a bed for a nap.

  611. Good morning!

    Emma’s Advanced Placement tests start today with Government. Whoo hoo. AP tests cost $85 each to take but you get your money back only if you pass. Emma passed them all last year so here’s hoping she keeps the trend going because she has 5 of them and we can sure use that refund! Oh, and hopefully she is learning something. LOL

  612. gak – dylan is driving himself BANANAS with his AP tests coming up . . . his last one is Friday and I CAN”T WAIT TILL IT IS OVER!

    heading to IL/IN for nephews’ grad party on Saturday . . . I’m learning . . .meeting the family at the park . . .then spending the night at Don’s brother’s house in Louisville, KY . . . boundaries. boundaries. boundaries.

    i am just giddy with happiness

  613. One year we gave our children new sleds for Christmas. It didn’t snow that winter.

    If anyone is wondering why the eastern US is currently experiencing seemingly endless days of rain, it’s because I bought a new bike on Saturday.

    I just thought I’d clear that up.

    (George! A new bike!)

    ~ S.

  614. Hey Linda,

    Here’s some free advice:

    Take that money you get back from the tests Emma passes and go out to a spa and get rubbed from your nose to your toes, get a facial, get cured — pedi and mani.

    That’ll make you feel a lot better.

    Take a look at the toilet and say to yourself: who gives a flying fuck anyway? This is a toilet seat for pete sakes not a love seat! Then, go to Home Depot, by a standard seat. As long as the holes and bolts fit, it doesn’t matter. I speak from experience. The toilet in my house was installed in 1938. People’s arses must have been different then because I cannot find a seat that properly fits it. My feeling is that as long as they don’t fall into the commode, then, ok. So, for years, it’s been a non-fitted toilet seat in my house and NOT ONCE, NOT ONE FREAKING time has a guest ever returned from the john saying that the seat doesn’t match. I did once, discover damage that a 300-pound plus guest did to my toilet when he broke the seal, thus causing me a $300 plus repair. And by the way, the plumber didn’t say anything about the non-fitted toilet seat nor did the plumber blame the non-fitted toilet seat for the damage caused by my obese guest.

    Bottom line: WHO GIVES A SHIT?

    Right?

    …and after you install the new non-fitted seat, take the old one and hurl it through the nearest television…do that, enroute to the spa!!!!!

    ———–

    Kate: I’m with you, throw a dirty towel on the floor for a rug. Actually a dirty towel would look better than the rug we have on our 1930s bathroom floor. Our rug looks like some sort of animal that was run over by a car about a week ago, and the rain set in, and a turkey vulture came flying in and started picking at it, and a coyote dragged it over to the side of a road. That’s what our rug looks like, and once again,

    Who cares!!!!!

    ——————

    I had a nice weekend, blog people….it rained and I read!

    I am now starting my second week without the cigarettes. I can be a little testy, but mostly I am feeling good, feeling like I am actually doing something, not coughing first thing in the morning. I am happy about freeing myself from this knot!

    —————-

    Jenny: sounds like you have a plan. When you execute it and are in Northern Va., remember that you have a friend here. That friend would be me.

    —————

    Carrie: so happy to hear about your studio. Everything you touch and sing about is already beautiful. My goodness, what’s it going to be like when it comes from a place like Sher’s heaven!

    ————-

    Amy and Bug: I got a contact high reading about your shopping excursion at Target. Can I have some details? Just email me directly.

    ————-

    Gigi: I haven’t gone over to your blog, but I am glad to see you here. I really hope you can get these health issues squared away.

    Anyway….more later.

  615. Sarah…a new bike?

    Details, girl, details! Color, make, size.

  616. Checking in quick-like for a break and a laugh before my afternoon class. George, I was laughing out loud here! Especially from your description of your bathroom carpet, which sounds surprisingly like mine.

    My students were actually pretty into the Supreme Court discussion … we’ll see about the PM group.

    I have to call the college I interviewed at and tell them yes, no, or maybe on the adjunct job. I had a bolt of “No” clarity this morning.

    I am reading a book with my “other woman” – the local book club – called Heroic Living. It is all about decision-making, written by a former Jesuit and bond trader. (WHAT!?) But his point is to introduce some of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s strategies into everyday decisions. Ignatius recommends listening to the “still small voice” that gives either Consolation or Desolation when we do or consider certain things. If we feel consolation, even when we are emotionally sad or striving mightily, then the decision was a good one. If we feel desolation, even if at the time the act feels enjoyable, then it was not a good decision.

    I know that my desire to take this other job is coming from a long winter and a mid-life crisis that will pass.

    I am also taking great solace from my yearly re-read of The Professor’s House. (I can’t pick between this and Death Comes for the Archbishop as my favorite Willa Cather.)

    AND my obsession with Kate Bush’s The Ninth Wave is also reminding me to keep swimming and ignore the strange voices trying to pull me under. The morning will come. What I need is to “Wake up!”

  617. My bathroom rug used to be a pristine white square. However, we have a walk in shower in that bathroom and my dog Mya likes to go in there RIGHT AFTER WE LEAVE IN THE MORNINGS and walk around and play. The water from our showers activates the dirt on her tiny paws and thus our white rug has new brown puppy paw prints everyday.
    Oh close the bathroom door you say? Brilliant idea, however the fiance has to remember this and that is very hard:) Plus, the paw prints are really cute.

  618. I always feel better when George checks in. :)

  619. I feel better when I check in, too. That’s the effect this blog has on me!

  620. So good to “see” you all again.

    Horrible weekend- Husband threatening to kick me
    out of the house, cancel the car insurance should I take the car, cancel my cel-phone service, etc, unless I provided him with a notarized 4-point confession of past sins, signed by my family, by noon today. Hours and hours of screaming on his end and pleading on my part, and general awfulness.

    I broke down and smoked over the course of this, for which I am deeply ashamed. Husband found out and
    threatened to have my baby taken away because I’m already an incompetent mom. Late last night, he finally broke down in tears from all the stress. All the fight went out of him so we could actually talk.

    I thought about writing to some of you personally to vent, but am so exhausted and depleted that I don’t have much more energy to expend on this situation.

    …And then I come to visit the Blog Babies, and everything looks up. You are indomitable and funny and bright little souls!

    Bless you, George, I would be honored to sit with you on the shores of the Potomac one year hence. I would also like to see your toilet. You have my full and ongoing support with the smoking venture. It is a mighty battle.

    Ah, Linda, you have a brave heart. Hang in there. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single toilet seat.

    Maureen, I loved the Saint Ignatious quote, which I will add to my current 1-item list of decision-making fallbacks during times when I feel utterly lost. (The other item is that decisions made on the basis of fear tend to turn out badly).

    Blessings, blessings upon you all. Best of luck to all toilet-seat buyers, bra connoiseurs, writers, and Heaven-dwellers. I am off to take care of the backlog of tasks that accrued over the course of this weekend.

    Be well.

  621. 4 point confession of past sins? Lord, Jenny, what an insane prick.
    Do not beat yourself up about the smoking. It is a horrible addiction that I stopped 5 years ago but could pick up again in 2 seconds. You know you’re not supposed to smoke when you’re pregnant so you won’t do it again. Move on, you are a wonderful mother already.

  622. Wow. Jenny. I don’t know what to say. You must get away from that man. I know you have a plan so I am just praying for strength, safety and serenity for you.

  623. Arghhh!

  624. Jenny – I don’t live your life, so I can’t understand exactly what you are going through, but the day my stepfather finally left my home was one of the best days of my life. You can not imagine how hard it is for a child to be raised in that type of environment. Seriously, if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for the kids. Nothing is more liberating than feeling safe. Please just call a hotline. They will help you. Also, don’t sweat the cig. Just throw the pack out. Call this number now.

    1-800-799-SAFE

    Amy in Ohio – I am laughing at your dog. And I’ve never read Girl, Interupted and keep meaning to. Thanks for reminding me. Hey, Kate G is coming to Troy, MI May 14th. $27/$38 tickets. I almost just want to sit in the parking lot. Think about it…. ha ha ha …

    Jim Shue – Thanks for the support, I think I forgot to thank you from Friday.

    George- I’m hanging in there. I left my bed for the first time today and was dizzy @ my first grocery store. Putting on my medical id bracelet and going to the next store. I just have to keep rolling.

    Carrie – I think I have the perfect blog baby destination – Mackinaw Island for all of us. You have to take a ferry there, and its gorgeous, peaceful, and inspiring. Watch Somewhere In Time, it was filmed there. This way I can come for sure, and there is plenty of hotels, and horses. And FUDGE.

    http://www.mackinac.com/

  625. Your husband is a son of a bitch.

    There are other words I like to use, but I know some folks here are of a religious/holy bent, so I won’t use them.

    But boy I am sure saying them in my head.

  626. LB…DO. IT. I don’t care.

    Jenny, your husband makes me cringe…I don’t know what to say but OH MY GOD.

  627. Because, Molly, it’s all about ME!

    Haha…what is wrong with me? I’m so ego-centric. Bleah.

  628. Jenny –
    That description reminds me of tales from my sister, whose PhD-theoretical-chemist a-hole husband was also a narcissist of the worst kind and asked her to do similar awful things, though much more passively, since he needed to maintain his status as perfect. ARGH!
    Now, where are you exactly? I need to google map my route to your house if need be.

  629. Oh, hey, Carrie and other room-of-one’s-own supporters:
    I think I have an idea for snagging use of that hermitage down the road.

    I am going to offer to mow the lawn and do some landscaping and clean out the hermitage in exchange for use of it AND first refusal on any sale of the property. No money needs to change hands, I can be in there as soon as I get it cleaned out, and no huge commitment. Yeeha! Must stop and visit the owner: he is my neighbor buddy guy anyway, so I think he’ll be open to the idea.

  630. Hi Katie Cakes! If one more person mentions those darn bon-bons I am going to drool all over my computer. I have EATEN those items. They are beyond good.

    Has anyone heard from Tex?

  631. Kate, shall I email you my bad-word list? (notice how respectful Maureen was? She didn’t even write “asshole”…)

    George, I just re-read your longer post. NAUGHTY YOU!!!! (I don’t have your email address either. :) )

    Bon bons, Maureen? You mean the one I had for breakfast? :) I’m jealous of your room-of-ones-own. I’m thinking of going all My Side of the Mountain .

    And speaking of Kathleen–HI, KATHLEEN!!!!!

  632. Ha HA!! That’s brilliant, Mo! Report back here after you’ve talked to him, okay?

    Jenny, all the best words to describe your husband have already been used, so I’ll just second them. He sounds like he should be such a smart man: how is it he’s forgotten that sound travels through the uterine walls and that the assault is not just on you? Not to mention the chemical wash of stress hormones. What an ass. — Thank you for your frequent posting; if you didn’t, I’d be worried to distraction about you, instead of merely anxious for your well-being and safety.

  633. Jenny…I am wondering two things…

    Do you have anyone to share the positive and happier aspects of your baby waiting with? (ultra sounds, heartbeats,first movements and the folding of and gazing in wonderment at tiny garments)… This could make such a difference in your outlook, and give you a secret place inside your pain to hideout sometimes…

    And, if a hypothetical baby loving motherly person on this blog wanted to send you something baby related would that be possible, or dangerous for you?
    Maybe to your Mom to pass on to you?

    If you don’t have such a person for sharing, I’ll just bet there will be much volunteering here…Let the birthing stories begin!!! (Well, maybe a bit later!)

  634. George, your lyrical description of your bike ride to the Potomac was wonderful (went to your blog, too, but it’s not there yet) — thanks for taking us along with you. A HUGE congratulations on your smoking cessation program. Also — thank you for your comments on my creative attempts — I blush. I can’t wait till all my tools and raw materials are in one place. I’m even more excited to start exploring metal and glass together (those two media really speak to me, always have).

    My Medici-esque patrons are signing on the property tonight. I’m going to go with them to start making my notes as to the requirements of the studio (gas plumbing/vent system/electrical requirements and placement for all, surface coverings, window size and placement, etc.). I really can’t believe my good fortune — I’m being asked to design my perfect space, and the genie will carry out my specs. Not just the studio, but my living space (I get to indulge my inner interior decorator by choosing paint, floor coverings, tile, window treatments, doors, etc.). And I can have a GARDEN!!! Real tomatoes! A proper kitchen garden! I really am a little dazed. How did it happen that I have been gifted with such extraordinary friends?

  635. Nora, you are just lovely. Lovely.

  636. Bug – Don’t you LOVE My Side of the Mountain. Wow, what a transformational book that was for me. Another literary reason I ended up in the rural hinterland boonies where society is devoid of intellectualism. Be careful what you wish for. Ahem.

  637. Carrie –
    Any pictures of the soon-to-be studio? I finally found the camera that has my hermitage pics on it. I am off to find a connector cord so I can yahoo them. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

  638. Mo: Deal! I’ll take before and after pictures. Right now, it is just a garage, so I don’t know what it will tell you. I’ll take my camera tonight. Let me know when your pictures are up.

  639. Maureen…for you…

    The Story of My Chickens

    I did already share that I have a parallel life where I am a hardy and strong farmer’s wife with many children… That is my starting place…( I know I could have a more modern liberated fantasy where I am the actual farmer, but I have a Caroline Ingalls wish).

    About two years ago, I found myself with a toddler in my daycare with a chicken affinity…He’s crazy about chickens is my Henry, it’s a mystery. To feed his interest, we started watching a chicken cam site for a few minutes everyday, (Flying Skunk Farm in Massachusetts) and from then on it was all over for Henry and me…

    I have a big reunion of all the children of the past and their families at Christmas every year, and for the one after we became chicken cam fans, I bought an array of stuffed chickens (Beanie baby chickens, Sandra Boynton chickens, and realistic looking chickens), put them all in a large dog crate, and drug it out into the living room in the middle of the party. Everyone under 12 got a chicken ( 27 chickens! I spared the teenagers)…Then they did the chicken dance, which we had learned from a Lawrence Welk Show clip on Youtube…

    So, from Christmas until summer, we studied chicken books and laid our plans…Chickens were not legal here in Durham, so we were fully prepared for Outlaw Chickens (there were many others). I put up a large dog kennel in the backyard, bought coop plans on Ebay, and had a carpenter friend whimsy it up and build it for us.

    In July, we got two Plymouth Rocks, two Buff Orpingtons, and two Silver laced Wyndottes… Camilla, Rainbow, Sarah Avenue, Sophie, Buffy and Dixie. They are beautiful fat sassy and hysterically funny creatures, and I don’t know how I lived without them for so long! The children adore them, and collect the eggs to take home each week, and we share them with other friends too…You can see them on my Facebook page if you so desire…

    I got involved with an organization called HENS (Healthy Eggs in Neighborhoods Soon)which presented a petition to the city council and after months of debate (which Haven sort of mocked in one of her bloggings…but no offense taken!) we now have legal urban chickeness in Durham… Many years ago I was involved in trying to levitate the Pentagon to Stop The War, and now…CHICKENS…you never know where life will take you next!

  640. Oh! My Side of the Mountain..swoon.

  641. Carrie- your good fortune is karma coming back around. You are good and do good, so my dear, you get good. It’s that simple. :)

  642. um, sherrill, can I come attend your Nursery School? pretty please . . .

    chickens. oh my. wow.

    Carrie – I am crying that your heaven is eminent. I cannot tell you the utter contentedness that will come with that space. It is magical and miraculous.

    Don’t tell anybody, but setting up a studio is quite like setting up a nursery and stocking it with all the bobbles and neccessities and then you get the day you ‘bring the baby home’ i.e., when you make your first piece of art.

    indescribable.

    i am so happy for you!

  643. In honor of Carrie’s Studio, i am offering up this Dream I had:

    Background Information: I always loved art as a child and would study on my own, but I went to a tiny church school with no art class. At this time in my family/community no one mentioned even the possibility of college . . . I thought when you graduated and/or turned 18, you were on your own.

    so after hs I worked fulltime, moved in with an aunt in Texas, and then ran off and got married at 19. I kept painting, mostly watercolor and some acrylic, but not really knowing what I was doing. Got into the New Age movement . . . began to believe in my ‘gift’ and that it was part of my tautology.

    After divorce I enrolled in an Art Institute while still working full time.

    One week before classes started I was in an accident and broke my back.

    I met Donny (he was my physical therapist). the deal was, i would have art as a hobby and go to school when the kids reached pre-school age.

    This dream came true when I was 27/28. i started with a night drawing class . . . then before I started painting 1 – I went shopping for art supplies.

    choosing every tube of Galleria acrylic paint and each paintbrush with exceeding care and love . . .

    I then had this dream while being part of a dream interpretation group.

    FLOWER TRAIN.

    I am on a swiftly moving SILVER BULLET train . . . we are flashing through landscapes and the train slows as we come around a bend. I peer out the window and see breathing, pulsing BRIGHT FLESH and CREAMY flowers of an unidentified species. They are singing and throbbing with color and life.

    I reach down and pat the baby car seat which is sitting next me on the trainbench. The baby is wrapped in a beautiful crocheted (which I made) cobweb of rainbow beams . . . I life the blanket to reveal –

    the new glorious tubes of paint and carefully arranged paintbrushes. I cry in recognition.

    THE END

    So – the point being that this dream is when I came to the realization that I needed to nurture and foster my ‘gift’ of creativity to the same extend that I nurtured and fostered my own children.

    Art is a part of me. I cannot give it away or neglect it.

    I cannot tell you the all encompassing effect this realization/dream has had on my life. It was my license to be who I was born to be.

  644. Oh, I LOVE the chicken story and the paint story.
    And the stories of your various havens give me hope.

    I am reading Louise Erdrich ‘The Master Butcher’s Singing Club’ and now I’m going to have to read everything she’s ever written because she is a marvelous writer. ‘Course it doesn’t hurt that she is writing about North Dakota Germans in this book, which is my heritage too. :-)

  645. Carrie, Sher and Nora…great stories, sharing, insights. Thanks so much. Carrie, I would die to have friends such as those. Nora, that chicken story is priceless…I love traveling somewhere and hearing a rooster crow. Now, all I have to do is go to Durham! And Sher, love that dream. Here is mine from last night. I dreamed I was playing golf…then I noticed I had him my ball into this audience of people. I found the ball amid all the chairs with people. I remember thinking that I could hit it, but I had to make sure it got off the floor quickly enough to clear the heads of the people. The people were all sitting in folding chairs, looking at a speaker on a stage, I guess.

    Then I dreamed that I got a club. It was a three-wood, which I don’t normally hit. I looked at it and thought that it looked ok and felt ok. I remember being ready to go over and hit the ball — despite some misgivings about the club and the people hazard. I was nevertheless ready to make the shot and see what happened.

    I woke up or switched dreams before I actually hit the ball, however.

    Now, what in the world could that dream have meant?

  646. While we’re on the subject of dream interpretation: I was in this .. department store? And there was this floor to ceiling display of bags. Expensive/designer bags and also run of the mill ordinary bags. I found this one that was perfect, it had eight pocket/compartments, I think. It was a $300 bag, but there was a deal that if you bought two bags, you could get the third for free. So then I was trying to find two inexpensive bags by the same designer.

    … odd ..

  647. George,

    Haven started it by posting the video at the top of this page. I love to ride my bicycle and didn’t think I needed extra encouragement to do so, yet: the power of suggestion proved mighty yet again. Out I went, biking. I discovered that my trusty bike, long ago my “car” for years, was in need of repair (minimally) to make it truly safe again.

    This past week end I visited area bike stores to look for a bike for my youngest son, who will soon need reliable transportation that doesn’t depend on me. While looking on his behalf, I of course saw many wondrous shiny vehicles of the two-wheeled nature. I was stoic, I was reasonable, I was circumspect, I was ready to have my old bike fixed, I was all walking-away-like-a-grownup, when I saw The One: a perfect blue beauty, sitting in a sunbeam. The clincher was its name: Insight.

    It’s an entry-level hybrid performance bike (similar to the Trek FX 7.2, I believe?), more than enough bike for my purposes. It’s my first new bike in 24 years, and so clearly meant to be Mine. I’m in love.

    ~ S.

  648. GiGi,

    What an ordeal! I’m glad if you’re gaining clarity on some of your health issues, and hope you find relief soon, more and more.

    I did the whole allergy testing thing some years back, with similar results. In situations such as those, I find it helpful to ask the right questions of the medical personnel. Such as,

    Did you grow up wanting to do this? When you were a little girl sitting on your stoop playing with your drawer-haired Barbies, did you think to yourself, “When I grow up, I want to stick multiple irritant-covered needles into some poor sick lady’s back”?

    Thanks for letting us know how you are.

    ~ S.

  649. oooooo, george.

    you are confident in your own skills and your success in your cessation of smoking, but you are unsure if others believe in you.

    I, George, believe in you wholeheartedly

    (this would be more of a Jungian/Sher interpretation)

  650. Kittery –

    Every rose has its thorns.

  651. re: bras.

    my jugs only wear sports bras, the non-bounce kind . . . that are more like armour . . . http://www.titlenine.com
    Dynamic Duo is my favorite
    AND they have DD!!!!

  652. Oh Brenda, I love Louise Erdrich. It isn’t absolutely necessary, but I do recommend reading her books in chronological order. Or try the Blue Jay’s Dance which is just a gorgeous confection of a memoir about pregnancy and motherhood.

  653. Amy in CA…here is revealed one of my booktraits…I Always read an author in chronological order if at all possible…it’s kind of overly Something, but it gives me a comfortable feeling of symmetry…okay, it’s just the overly part…

  654. barnacle: i like to go in order, too with an author. that is unless i discover a book that is not the first book he/she has written.

    jenny: that is fucking bullshit. stay strong and try to focus on you and what you are growing. my husband went to rehab when i was 7 mos prego if you ever wanna chat about general freaking out/anxiety while with child, stephsulzbach@gmail.com i could also share some things i did before i knew i was pregnant that I HAVE NEVER TOLD ANYONE but my midwife, who promptly ripped up my confession and said, let’s start over so insurance will pay. everyone slips, it’s the getting back up that is most important.

    to all the BBs:
    i wanted to share the lyrics from the chariot by an australian group, the cat empire:
    “The Chariot”

    This is a song that came upon me
    One night
    When the news it had been telling me
    About one more war and one more fight
    And ‘aeh’ I sighed but then
    I thought about my friends
    Then I wrote this declaration
    Just in case the world end

    Our guns
    We shot them in the things we said
    Ah we didn’t need no bullets
    Cos we rely on some words instead
    Kill someone in argument
    Outwit them with our brains
    And we’d kill ourselves laughing
    At the funny things we’d say

    And bombs
    We had them saved for special times
    When the crew would call a shakedown
    We break down a party landmine
    Women that so sexy
    They explode us with their looks
    Ah we blowing up some speakers
    Jumping round till the ground shook

    And missiles
    They were the roadtrips that we launched
    T-t-tripping across this island
    Starting missions at the break of dawn
    Yawn and smile say
    ‘what direction shall we take?’

    ‘Somewhere where it warm and wet’
    This be the route we’d always take and

    Our weapons were our instruments
    Made from timber and steel
    We never yielded to conformity
    But stood like kings
    In a chariot that’s riding on a
    Record wheel

    And our airforce flying
    When the frisbee in the sky
    Have a session while we’re smoking
    Now we’re feeling extra high
    And we’d sneak into a carpark
    With the skaties on our back
    And we’re flying down the levels howling
    ‘on the attack now on the attack’

    And battles
    They happened in these dancehalls
    See we’d rather fight with music
    Choosing when the rhythm warms
    Battle at these shakedowns
    And we battle at these gigs
    We do battle in our bedrooms
    Made some sweet love to the beat

    Then our allies grew
    Wherever we would roam
    See whenever we’re together
    Any stranger feel at home
    In a way we are an army
    But this army not destruct
    No instead we’re doing simple things
    Good loving find it run amuck

    This be a declaration
    Written about my friends
    It’s engraved into this song
    So they know I’m not forgetting them
    See maybe if the world contained
    More people like these
    Then the news would not be telling me
    About all that warfare endlessly and

    Our weapons were our instruments
    Made from timber and steel
    We never yielded to conformity
    But stood like kings
    In a chariot that’s riding on
    A record wheel

    and in case you would like to hear it:
    http://www.rhapsody.com/catempire pick “the chariot”

  655. Oh Steph I LOVE your picture…I so need to volunteer somewhere I can hold a baby. Sigh.
    Amy and Nora and all thanks for the advice..I will read in chrono order, which I used to do all the time when I was a youngster in the sci fi section of the library.
    INSIGHT is a most wondrous name for a bicycle.
    In my head I am singing the Arlo Guthrie song…’I don’t want a pickle, just wanna ride on my motor cicle’..and changing it to bicycle…..:-)

  656. Nora, do the clothes in your closet hang in order of garment type and graduating color? I was afraid that I was the only Type-A here until I met Caryl. For those who commented ‘who the fuck cares’ on the topic of matching toilet seats, I truly believe that yours is the superior species.

    I love symmatry too but not necessarily in books. It’s just that Erdrich’s books build upon one another in terms of character and even plot development.

  657. Wow, Sher, thanks for that dream interpretation! I think you nailed it.

    Sarah: Your bike sounds like a good deal. All my new bikes were used…but I have altered them all in some way or another. I have a road bike that I just love; a former police patrol bike that I love and a recumbent that I kinda love and kinda hate.

    What I really love is being on them…that blur beneath my feet, the wind whistling through the vents in the helmet, the whirr of the derailleur, the glint of the spokes, the sound of the chain clicking into a gear, the sound of my own breath, the feeble glow from my light in the darkness, the firm feel of pedals beneath my feet….

  658. Amy in my hood. Are we on for tomorrow night? Borders at 7pm?

  659. Caryl, yes I’ll see you at 7:00!

  660. Um, I dreamed that despite my new blue bra was the soft lace, Greg didn’t want to HUG me.

  661. Also, you people tell the best stories. I just love them. How about this one?

    We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog participation to bring breaking news from Waverly Hall, Georgia. An overworked, underpaid Catholic school teacher, whose name the police are not releasing yet, was injured today while moving 600 yearbooks from her classroom to a conference room 100 feet away.

    The teacher, unable to enlist assistance from the Administration or groundscrew, was lugging a dolly with an estimated 150 pounds of yearbooks when she turned the corner….and the dolly didn’t…

    As she stepped forward, the dolly’s wheel caught on the corner, yanking the handle from her hands. It went down, and in a flash, caught the very top of the teacher’s calf, right under her left knee. According to one unnamed source, the teacher was able to refrain from making any unseemly noises. She retrieved the overturned dolly and completed her mission successfully. The good news is they think they’ll be able to save the leg.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

  662. Sarah–drawer-haired Barbies? I’m dying with laughter.

    My Barbies lived in a plastic milk crate–naked–which my mother called the Nudist Colony. You can only imagine what THEIR hair looked like.

    Off to watch Cap’n Tightpants now. :)

  663. Molly,

    Would that the medical professional allergist person had had your sense of humor.

    ~ S.

  664. hi all,

    just a quick note to ask for prayers and thoughts. ollie is in the hospital tonight because his oxygen levels bottomed out. it has been several hours and we have not yet heard how he is doing. please keep ollie, neil, and bekka in your thoughts if you don’t mind.

    amanda

  665. Amanda, prayers for the family. And for you.

  666. Praying for little Ollie and his family.

    Bless you Amanda

  667. thank you all! got the word that Ollie has been released from the hospital. his oxygen levels are still not where they need to be, but they are allowing him to go home.

    i don’t want to speak for other who love him, but for me one of the hardest things about Ollie’s scary days is that it is often like reliving his diagnosis all over again, and realizing how little time we get with him.

    thank you ALL for your thoughts and prayers.

  668. This is good news! Sweetheart, I cannot imagine, and I hope I never have to…

  669. I have been gone for a few days I am lost as to what happened to Haven regarding her former friend maybe its just old news or more likely none of my bees wax

    I just hope things are improving

    SHER I sent you an email about what we were talking about.

  670. MichaelT, where was your picture taken, the one you posted to the yahoo site? That looks like a beautiful setting.

    ~ S.

  671. Sarah it was at a place aptly named Mirror Lake while I was vacationing in Utah (my Dad Lives there)

  672. Oh, oh, oh. My friends. You are my salvation and my inspiration and what is getting me through. Thank you, thank you for all you are.

    Nora – Oh, thank you for the chicken story! I just loved it! I am going to remember “whimsy it up” because what I have realized is how my life has been stripped of whimsy. I saw the facebook picture of the coop, which is what made me ask. Many many years ago (when we had only about 100 cows) we engaged in a Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red adventure. (Sworn enemies, we found out) The last of them became dear departed of old age last summer, but they were a hoot while we had them and the eggs were wonderful – there is no comparison. We also ate some chickens (sorry) but the difference between free-range chicken meat and store-bought is every bit as intense as the eggs. You have not really TASTED chicken until you’ve had home-raised. I am wanting chickens again, but Andy is feeling enough overwhelmed with our herd of now 300 cows. I do understand.

    Sher – Thanks for YOUR story of manifesting the art self you always were. and I love the new avatar!! I am set on pursuing my hermitage down the road – my soul is dying a little in its current setting and I just need a PLACE a SPACE to remember who my essential self IS.

    George – Kudos. I begged and begged my dad to stop smoking and he tried. BUT he concentrated his bravest efforts on sobriety and changed all our lives. And so kudos, Linda, also to you.

    Amanda – Thinking of Ollie and glad he is back home again.

    Louise Erdrich! Ah! Fleur Pillager is one of my many idols. And the writing shed in Blue Jay’s Dance is in my ontological inventory of spaces.

    Sarah – I see you in that picture as a little girl on your bike and now you on your new (and much-deserved) one.

    This is the blog of freeing the essential spirit. I am so enormously grateful that I found you all.

    I have to go and start this day, but I will be back at regular intervals for an infusion.

  673. So glad to hear about Ollie doing better. Amanda, I’m sorry that every time is as bad as the first time. I don’t understand why this happens to children, why it happens to us. Chin up, honey.

    I second everything Maureen says…except the stuff about understanding being overwhelmed by cows. I don’t second that because the cow herd that lives next door to me…barely even moo. They are serene and don’t do anything except eat grass so green it looks like they imported it from Ireland.

    (It’s beautiful where I live.)

    Also, that was no joke about the yearbooks. My bruise is UGLY. :)

    Sarah and George, you make me want a boke again. I don’t know how to use gears, but I think you could teach me, virtually, right?

  674. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghh. I really want to keep my mouth shut here AND I JUST CAN’T.

    JENNY, a 4-point, notarized statement, signed by your family? I’m assuming you’re being literal here and not hyperbolic. I’m also assuming that you haven’t left out any major detail about the situation, and I realize that I don’t know you–really at all–but HOLY SHIT, honey, do you see the insanity of that? It’s inevitable that we grow inured to abuse, I think it’s inherent to the human condition, it’s how we survive the unthinkable, right? So I feel compelled to point out here that THAT IS INSANITY. Just in case you thought for a second that it wasn’t.

    Here’s the hardcore thing I have to say to you, the thing I would absolutely say, with love, if I’d known you for years: When you decided to have this baby, you became responsible for someone else’s well being in addition to your own. You’re a psychologist. You know the drill. What happens in the first years of a child’s life–and I FIRMLY believe that includes the womb–shapes EVERYTHING THAT COMES AFTER THAT. YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS BABY.

    And I disagree with Suzanne that it’s doubtful that the behavior will escalate. Pregnancy is often a time when physical abuse starts. Google it. And it doesn’t really matter. The emotional abuse is THE SAME THING. THE SAME THING. YOU AND YOUR BABY ARE BEING ABUSED. The student loans don’t matter. THE STUDENT LOANS DON’T FUCKING MATTER. You need to get out NOW. If you can’t do it for yourself, you have to do it for your baby. You have to take care of that baby NOW, not later.

  675. Uh-oh. I’m on a roll. LINDA? Bless your heart, you ASKED FOR A TOILET SEAT FOR CHRISTMAS? Stop that this instant. We teach people how to treat us. Seriously. (And you ordered a new one, right? I swear to fuck, Caryl and I–who have more than a touch of problem-solving codependence between us–are going to buy you one if you haven’t.)

  676. Hi Shanna! Fine memories of sitting and talking books and writing with you at the Washington Duke. Did your friend, similarly dumped by un-named agent, find someone else? I had to put it on the back burner, but I have a list of some new people to query.

  677. Hi, Mo! She has interest from a VERY well regarded agent, but he has invoked the dreaded PLATFORM question and is currently considering her full ms. Why are you back burner-ed?

  678. Jenny – I only have one thing to say – FUCK THE FIVE MONTH PLAN!

  679. Shanna: Yes…I was so beside myself yesterday after reading Jenny’s posting that I couldn’t bring myself to comment. You did it for me, saying precisely what I would say. I told her Friday to leave this monster right now.

  680. Oh, George, you have already said such important and true things here on this subject. (BTW, I’m so bummed we didn’t get to meet in Durham, where, btw, I was the token smoker. Congrats on your new non-smokingness.)

  681. Shanna – Back burner because I am finishing my school year and have also been despondent (mid-life crisis?). May is crunch time here, between my students’ final papers and my own kids and the farm (first-cutting hay is the most stressful time of the farm year), so I am waiting to have a clear stretch to direct enough brain cells at the process.

    I have a couple of leads. A woman in the local book club I joined published a book (about nun fashion!) and freely offered the name of her agent. I rewrote my pitch some, and I am making a list of comments from my blog to show reader responses. I am also going to the Colgate Writers Workshop the last week of June. So … some low coals that need more breath than I can give to get them to flame up.

    How goes the move?

  682. The move is imminent, looming. I should have the keys tomorrow, but I’m probably not going to have the movers come until the middle of next week so I can purge on this end instead of moving a bunch of crap I haven’t touched since we’ve lived here.

  683. The Babies Rule!
    Go, Jenny, Go. Go. Go.
    George, you rock! My dad gave up smoking unfiltered camels because of our childhood nagging…he used eating sunflower seeds to do it. We bought them by the case.
    Love all your Stories too
    Bug!! put ice on that bruise.
    Nora..makes me want to have chickens in my sideyard (illegal here, sigh)
    Y’all are my spirit infusion, too.
    Sher, art thou napping?
    LOL

  684. sher is headed for napping . . . spent yesterday afternoon at DR with DYLAN, then an evening of High School Forensics Performances (fun) . . . went to the zoo today with Claire’s class and ALL the other 1st graders and . . . god is my witness . . . I will never go to the zoo on a field trip again . . . especially this tired. this meant that dylan walked to the allergists (luckily we live 1/4 mile from our nearest vandy center) . . . and we do the cardiac tests tomorrow in downtown vandy (Linda, how about lunch????) . . . dylan is just going through the motions to ensure no heart/lung issues are causing his pain/shortness of breath . . . and, why? or is he having panic attacks? nothing to worry about as of yet, but it is eating up my week.

    god. i wish i were napping. i believe i will go try!

  685. quick question: do you lick you fingers before removing lint from the lint trap in the dryer?

  686. Steph.

    YES!

    (Some questions are easier than others.)

    ~ S.

  687. I lick them afterwards. Yum!

  688. Sher- it is a crazy week here as it is Vandy’s commencement week AND AP exams for Emma and track state sub-sections for Sam. So, unfortunately, no fun for me. Let’s plan lunch later in the month once all the kids are done. Remember- meet up at Steak N Shake!

  689. This movie is really for YOU GUYS! Only you will appreciate the Kate Bush soundtrack (my current obsession). A little taste of farm life.

    http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.wordpress.com/

  690. I also finally got my camera hooked to my computer and put my dream house for my sister with the attendant hermitage for me on yahoo.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenblogbabies/photos/album/1965964459/pic/list?mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=21&count=20&dir=asc

  691. You know, it never occurred to me to lick my fingers when I clean the lint trap. Is that something people do? Should I be doing that? Why do you do that?

  692. Lint trap fingers taste good? Really?
    I love you guys.

  693. Amber, the licking is for those that clean it EVERY time, because in that case, it is only a film of lint that you need added moisture to pick up. I, myself, do not have this problem.

  694. Carrie –
    Nor do I! I roll off a small carpet when I finally remember to do it. Hey – I posted pictures of my maybe hermitage.

  695. Did this work?

  696. Maureen, the only one that gave me any idea was the “inside hermitage” one — WOW! great light, and nothing makes me feel better than windows at 90 degrees to each other. Any amount of sweat equity would be worth having this place to write and think in. YOU NEED THIS.

    Did you talk to neighborhood guy about it yet? Is “similar cottage nearby” on the table too?

  697. Shanna, here’s hoping your move is smooth and unremarkable, except for the end result. A place you’re calling heaven, now, before you’ve even made it your own? What will it be like when all the Shanna-ness has settled in and around your new place? — it will be beyond bliss, I tell you, and I’m so happy for you.

    Also. Thank you for saying what what you said — and what I couldn’t bring myself to say — to Jenny.

  698. Molly, you know, if you were an Equity actor, and you were asked to take the stool off the stage when you left, you’d get an upbraiding you would not soon forget, as that is the set guys’ job. Maybe you should seek other employment, perhaps on the stage. — Seriously, I’m glad you weren’t hurt more badly. That was someone else’s job, and I can’t believe it came down to you. Shame on them.

  699. Carrie – “Similar cottage” is not on the market and is about two miles from here, whereas I can see “Proposed Hermitage” from my front porch. But if my sister WERE to buy the property and live there a few years and fix up the white house, it would sell QUICKLY to a down-stater as this other cottage did if she wanted to move on. (I would buy the hermitage part – hee hee) It is my financial back-up plan for the “purchase” scenario. The b”arter” version – yardwork for use of hermitage – is easy and involves no money.

  700. i do. and have EVER since i could do laundry, so say, 3. just the other day, my husband turned to me and said “it’s hilarious that you lick your finger before emptying the lint tray”. WHAT!?! i thought everyone did it. it makes the lint stick and comes off like a breeze. i am happy to hear that people do do this, too.

  701. You goofballs..
    No need to lick, I wet my fingers by touching the load of wet laundry in the washer that will go in the dryer next. does that make sense.

  702. Touching the wet laundry is far too logical!

    I am rolling laughing.

  703. I am 12th in line for The Help. I have to wait for 12 people to finish it first!

    *sigh*

  704. See? That was terrible math. Wouldn’t that make me 13th?

    Maureen, I loved the photos. The last photo made me want to lay on the floor in the sun. It’s so light there!

  705. Ladies,

    I have just happened upon Lost in Austen. Generally, I’m an Austen/P&P purist, BUT, there are some parts of this that are too priceless.
    I hated Austenland and won’t even brave the Jane Austen Bookclub or whatever it’s called but this … it’s okay. :)
    It’s a BBC miniseries that’s now being made into a movie .. Technically, I haven’t seen the whole thing, I chased it all over youtube, 31 second clip by clip. If you can find it though on DVD or Netflix or whatever, you might like it. :)

  706. OMG Kittery! I just got that from Netflix YESTERDAY!!

    I’ve watched 45 minutes and it is just fantastic in it’s…. I don’t know… whatever it is.

    Anyway, I’m entertained.

    That is just too weird that you would mention it…

  707. Hahaha. Nice!
    Exactly “whatever it is” .. I started it and at first I thought, oh spare me, but then .. ;)
    Tell me what you think when you finish it. Pwease. :)

  708. I am posting this link again because I WANT YOU ALL TO WATCH IT NOW! It took me two hours to make, and it makes me SO happy I have watched it myself about 47 times. It was really made for The Blog Babies, because if 2000-pound bovines can kick up their hooves, so can we!

    http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.wordpress.com/

  709. Um, wordpress is ticking me off by vaporizing my comment. So I am going to ask you to fake it out:

    Please click on my name to get to my blog where I posted a movie I MADE FOR YOU GUYS!!!! It is a happy, happy thing.

  710. It is wonderful!

  711. ok.

    if you take the load out of the dryer, you can used use the used dryer sheet as a ‘mitt’ and sweep the lint tray with it . . . and I actually SAVE my lint for paper making . . . it is all cotton!

    off to watch Maureen’s movie . . .

    also – used dryer sheets are perfect for polishing tv screens!

  712. nice, sher. but, i don’t always have a load in the dryer. then what? and thanks for the tv duster tip. i had no idea. the stuff i learn here…..

  713. are you in need of extra lint? we are potty training and have A LOT of laundry

  714. Amber once set her apartment on fire by NOT cleaning the lint trap.

    I’m just saying.

  715. Hahaha. You’re such a good friend, Molly. :P
    How’s yer leg?

  716. it is a serious fire hazard. amber, how can you not clean that? i am part ocd for sure, but i freaking clean that trap EVERY TIME. hope everyone was alright after the blaze.

  717. i like that haven spells your name mollie. i am steph, but some friends write stef on purpose–it is sweet. almost like their signature on your name. i dunno, but i like mollie, molly

  718. Oh, Amber knows better now. :) She’s a very responsible homeowner.

    kittery, i will send you pictures. :)

    Carrie–you are so right!!! If this were a stage, I’d be in big trouble for doing something not my job. But in a Catholic school, doing more than your job is what you have to do to make sure everything gets done. Oh well.

  719. All the Mollies I know are airheads. My sister says, with love, that most people’s first impression of me is as a lovable ditz. So I guess it fits that Haven calls me Mollie. :) I don’t mind.

    Really? Call me anything but late to dinner.

    Oh, and so Amber doesn’t feel bad about me totally outing her, I once set a pot of olive oil on fire.

  720. :: raises hand ::

    In college, there was a pot of vegetable oil ablaze. The fire department showed up .. fire alarms going off .. my friend the RA lied to save my ass.
    God love her.

  721. That pot of oil was the first and so far only thing I’ve ever set on fire.

    Kittery, thanks for joining ranks.

  722. i have never burned down the house.

  723. Me neither. Yet.

    My sister has set her cookbooks on fire multiple times. I think this is one of the reasons Couch made me laugh so much.

  724. I clean the lint trap every time, too, Steph. This is why (don’t laugh). I once saw a show on PBS or something about these women in a halfway house. I don’t know if they were in addiction recovery or teenaged mothers or what. But, they had very strict rules as I think they were teaching them how to follow rules in society. And one of the rules was to clean the link trap every time you did laundry and if you didn’t you were fined $50. Yes! $50. After I saw that I just kept thinking about if those poor women could remember to do it every time so could I. Well, it really is the only consistent housekeeping thing I do so I should not be too proud of myself.

  725. LINT trap. Not, LINK trap. Whatever the heck that is.

    Oh, I am still smiling over Mo’s happy cows. :)

  726. OK. College fire tales. I caught my own bangs on fire brushing my teeth during a blackout due to a hurricane.

  727. Clapping hands and jumping up and down.

    Glad you liked the cows! It cracks me up when they kick up their heels … er, hooves.

  728. Maureen … that takes SKILL.

  729. Maureen wins.

    Mom wants to know what you were near? A hurricane lantern, by any chance?

  730. a candle that you leaned into ?????

    fire – don’s college roommate burned down their entire apartment complex in New Brunswick NJ – with a keroseen heater/blanket debacle.

    kids barely got out . . . then he had to move in with his 80 year old granny who got mad at him for drinking a gallon of orange juice everyday, even though he paid for his own groceries.

    he would also pee out the 2nd floor window instead of using her bathroom . . .

  731. I love cleaning the lint trap! It’s my favorite! I don’t lick anything though.

    You all know about me setting my kitchen on fire.

  732. primo cow video – those babies can move . . . if the milk quality is judged by their JUGS . . . it must be fabulous.

  733. Sher- we lived right outside New Brunswick in Kendall Park, NJ when I was in kindergarten thru 3rd grade. Just thought Don might like to know that. LOL

  734. sometimes I have more left over dryer sheets . . . they are kept too – I use them for lots of dusting . . .

  735. Maureen- have you ever put chocolate syrup in the bottom of the bucket before milking them, just for fun?

  736. Yes, candle. Yes, I looked and smelled very bad for many weeks after.

    “Peeing out of window” … snicker, snicker.

    Elliot (aka Slippy) just treated us all to Cinco de Maio tacos, a Mexican music playlist, and sparklers in the lawn.

    Night, everyone. I’m off to bed.

  737. Good night! I’m not far behind you. I have been up since 4:50, worked all day, then went to Sam’s track meet and grilled burgers for the concession stand. The dads “helping” me were so funny because they were afraid of burning themselves on the flames. I just kept flipping and said “step aside and let a mother do it. We have a very high pain threshold from giving birth.” To which they all rolled their eyes and said, “we know, you women can give birth….” LOL

  738. i thought i was super cool my freshman year of college. i was all hippied out with very long hair that i would wrap around however it fell into an elastic. i was in my dorm room taking enormous bong hits (naturally, literally the day after i got my 1st tattoo, no shit), when i leaned into a burned candle behind me on the desk (ya know, you look up if you are VERY cool, and inhale). my stoned roommate started screaming, i did too–OBBviously. i had hair up above my ears the next day. had to chop it all off. i have pictures. AND, the worst part was the smell. they EVACUATED the dorm bc burning hair smells like DEATH. it was awful. and impossibly embarrassing. i was (am?) THAT girl.

  739. *burning

  740. it had to be extinguished by a combo of towel and floor as my roommate jumped on my head. i can’t believe it still

  741. Mo, your cows make me so happy I could weep with pleasure.

  742. Steph–I…am…laughing…so…hard…I…can’t…breathe…

  743. Steph, I believe you and I used to party together.
    Sher, I am LOVING your new gravatronimo.
    Okay, who has read The Almost Moon and can tell me what the hell happened at the end?
    !!!!!!Spoiler!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think she elected to not commit suicide and wait for the police to find her and then turn herself in.
    Is this right???
    Book was fantastic of course.

  744. Linda!
    Brown cows already produce chocolate milk, duh!!!!
    xoxoxo!

  745. Oh, fire story!
    Growing up we kept our cookies and potato chips in the oven so mice and other things ( heaven knows what else) could not get to them in the cupboard.
    Once in high school I came home late with some girlfriends and yes, we had been drinking at a party, soooo, we decided to make some cornbread. Random. Anyway, I started to preheat the oven and forgot about our “pantry” and thus caught the entire oven on fire.
    My dad ripped the door off in the process of getting the entire thing into the front yard.
    I don’t believe it was ever fixed.

  746. Maureen, Amy O just took your title. :)

  747. Maureen…I commented on your blog and loved the movie…Dana said while watching, horrified “She’s a dairy farmer?! That’s a horrible life! You have to spend 4 or 5 times a day with those cows and you can NEVER get away” in wonder like why would anyone in their right mind do that? He’s so funny…this is the guy who wants to move back to Iowa to a “hobby” farm where he gets to grow a forest and my brother gets to raise pastured heritage pigs, which sounds way worse than milk cows that dance for joy in the green green grass.

    I don’t think I’ve ever burned anything. (Except for the every Friday burning of the names of the cursed that Cheryl and I ritually do in the nice safe sand at work).

    Amber…logic comes from working too long with engineers, also it’s just my personality…drives my daughter nuts cause she’s exactly opposite.
    HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO y’all!
    margharitas all around.

  748. Peeing out of the second story window? SNORT!
    You guys give me the best visuals.

  749. I do not have any burning hair stories. But I have just finished _The Help_ and it is wondrous. Now I can’t remember who said you wanted to talk about it?

    Love the chicken stories.

    When my parents got married at the end of WW2, my mother took the train from Chattanooga to Cincinnati to start her married life and she carried HER PET CHICKEN in her handbag. He was a Bantam rooster and his name was Rhett. They did not allow chickens on the pasenger train in 1946 so she had to keep him hidden. All was fine but it was a night train and when the sun came up he crowed.

    She acted like she did not hear the rooster in her purse.

    She kept Rhett until he died of old age.

  750. “She acted like she did not hear the rooster in her purse.”

    Mary Lou, I am so glad you’re hear.

  751. ok, so my brother tucker, who–has fallen out of a second story window of a house at the age of 2 and landed on a coiled hose in the one foot gap between the porch and the bulkhead doors to the basement UNSCATHED.
    –has put a car that was on LOAN to my mom into neutral on a hill while my younger sister was in the car…and, as the car started rolling, tucker, rolled out and mandy (sis) buckled up. my mom came out of the house and saw tucker and from her perspective it looked like he was run over. he was fine. the car landed in the woods. thankfully mandy was wearing her seat belt.
    –has had a group of friends decide that they should have a “bonfire” behind my parent’s house at the age 13. long fire story short, the woods caught on fire, completely. tuck’s friends all took off. tucker called 911, was promptly arrested upon their arrival (covered in soot as he feebly attempted to put out the blaze) and…2 firetrucks got stuck as there was a huge sandpit right next to our property. they had to be towed. he was in so much trouble.

  752. Dammit.

    So glad you’re *here*.

  753. tucker also choked on a hotdog, age 2 (the boy, not the dog) until he turned blue. my dad gave him one more huge heimlich and it popped out. 911 still came even though i called back to say never mind, everything is cool here

  754. Tucker has had it hard…Good lord. The stories you must tell at Christmas…Do you remember that time Tuck burnt down the city?

  755. he wen to circus camp, and can juggle ANYTHING. swords, fire, different shaped burning/sharp objects
    he went to many unicycle conventions and owns over 10 unicycles–all sizes, some with multiple wheels on top of each other–2 goes back ward, but three on top of one another goes forward–little ones, so tiny it looks impossible to peddle, an enormous tall one, a huge fat tire one….that is how he attracts customers to his hotdog stand that he started at 16. riding crazy unicycles doing circus tricks and selling hotdogs, chips and soda (sometimes chili, depends). and, IT WORKS. he is fodder for crazy conversation

  756. pedal? yes. right?

  757. What a character!

  758. I took up fire surfing as a hobby one evening

  759. SHANNA: i am sad/glad to stand corrected. i had NO IDEA that physical abuse — even that which previously verbal abuse and was a long time coming — often does begin at pregnancy stage.

    JENNY DEAR: and by the way, being shouted at ? i count that aS physical abuse, especially at short range. are you aware that you can simply call the police, discreetly, from your phone when he does this? they will come and take his ass away. i suggest you do this next time. shouting and threatening you and backing you into the corner of a room? oh hell yes. they will take him AWAY. he needs to learn there are consequences at once. like, yesterday. he needs it bad. but then, you’re not doing it for him, you’re doing it for you. it’s good for your short-term state of mind that you have our support here, but we are not the primary people who need to be alerted. the police, your attny, and your family – if possible – and close friends need to be alerted and the wagons circled. babies are fragile and so are you.

    get the fucker out or get out of dodge. by any means necessary.

  760. Hello, loves. Checking in from the Natural History Museum. Let me organize my thoughts and my lime-sprinkled Tostito’s and I’ll be right back. (I haven’t read all the posts above but many.)

  761. Hullo Lovely. :)

  762. I must agree with others, Jenny – that this type of constraint is very specific form of mental and emotional abuse and it is threatening. Even the idea of someone invading your personal spatial zone and SCREAMING in your face. This is definately abuse, in whatever way you define it. My idea of abuse is very broad, I contend that the judgmental brainwashing I received from evangelical fundamental baptists in the North was more damaging than previously experienced sexual abuse. These things compound.

    I don’t know what to tell you about student loans and I do understand you are trying to be responsible.

    But there is always a 1st time someone becomes physical. I think you are being abused and the details are rather inconsequential. How do you feel? To me this is close to mental torture. If that is not allowable for a temporary wave of principal payments I would question your loan riders and this could be something worked out in a divorce settlement as well.

    I still feel rather nauseous about your situation, more so after your last weekend. I am worried. My radar is raised, too.

  763. Haven has returned!

    This is HOW tired I am:

    I thought for a second she was somewhere at an OPEN Natural History Museum . . . then I was like, oh, her writing barn . . .right!

    That is what 125 screaming 1st graders, screaming baboons, horny, tigers, 25 calls from my son at a simultaneous dr’s appointment will do to a woman who never sleeps.

    Brain fuzz – almost like that fuzz you get on your teeth . . . I have it growing on my brain . . . brain plaque.

  764. horny tigers, not horny baboons.

  765. Anyone still up?

  766. I’m here GIGI and I think Haven and Kittery are as well.

  767. was Adam hot tonight or what???

  768. Gigi, with 33 illnesses, will you be able to at least get some temporary disability??

  769. Ooh, I’m loving all of the burned hair stories. Back in the day, and i mean like seven years ago, i’d have these kick ass Halloween parties, complete with free liquor and prizes. My friend, who was totally smashed passes out on my front porch into a pile of lit candles. She ran inside and yelled I’m melting while wearing a witches costume. It was the funniest thing in a twisted sort of way thing I’ve ever seen. I stopped, dropped, and rolled her and she had to get eight inches of hair chopped off the next day. My house smelled like burnt hair for two days. We still laugh about it, as she is just that type of girl.

  770. LOL
    ! that is a good one – I would have thought it was a prop or joke.

  771. :: snickers :: “I’m melting”…

  772. Sher – I am on a three week disability leave now, but I’m bored and we are now poor so I’m going back. But hell yes, I could be off for a long time if I wanted.

    Also, I just found out we could have stayed in a free condo @ Mayo and its making me sick that we had to waste $1000.

    And, yes, Adam, who knew he could be the next Freddy Mercury? What a voice on this guy!

  773. Kittery, in that costume, it was magical with the smoke trailing behind her. I only wish i had camera in hand….

  774. oh man, that totally bites, the condo thing – why don’t they have patient hotllines where you can that kind of information.

    ridiculous!!!

    more blogging time!

  775. brain plaque is causing dropped words . . .

  776. Sher, I am long over due in saying thank you for my card. You are the best, do you know that?
    Jenny, I stand by my previous post, whether you feel you are in danger or not. You are obviously feeling enough fear to share what you have with us, and while I understand your need to reassure us of your safety I can’t help but feel that this is not your honest, gut feeling on the situation. It will not be easier to leave with a newborn, no matter the financial position you are in at the time. Trust me on this. It took me 10 months to leave and my experience was in no way violent or abusive, just horribly unhealthy. Please listen to the words here, read them over and over until you feel them and their truth. Beyond that, I hope you will find somebody in your real world to share this with who can help you in real time. All of our concern will mean nothing if something happens and we don’t know where you are.

  777. Sher, its a benefit from my hubby’s work. The email went out when we were there. Damn, I wish I never knew that. I could use $1000 in so many more ways.

  778. I read Almost Moon. I didn’t think she committed suicide in the end. Can’t remember who asked that, but I can’t look it up because it is in the room with the sleeping husband

  779. Hi Caryl! How are you?

  780. At my niece’s fourth birthday party, her mother had prepared goody bags for the kids. I don’t remember anything that was in the bags except for the Winnie the Pooh stickers. Oh. I’d never seen anything like them. The detail, all the characters, even Owl and Rabbit and Kanga, it was beautiful. I knew for a fact that there were a bunch left over for my niece (I’d seen them in the junk drawer when it was open to get the matches to light the cake). So, when I’m sitting there at the dining room table, waiting for my niece to blow out her candles, I feel this tug under my arm. My niece is leaning across the table, trying to steal my stickers from me. Finding this monumentally unfair, I clamped my arm down, and wouldn’t let her have them. No one realized what was going on until we smelled the burnt hair. She was leaning over her cake, her little blonde ringlets had caught fire.
    Nothing bad happened, my niece was extinguished and all was well. She didn’t start crying until she’d been put out…
    I took it as proof that she should’ve left my damn stickers alone though..

  781. I have not yet. La la la, closing my eyes, no … don’t say any more….

  782. Caryl is back, too – this will be a lovely slumber party if I can possibly stay awake.

  783. Ok, I’m slowly reading the last 200 posts and I read that we got on fire chat because someone started a fire by not cleaning out lint traps? Oh no. My best friend lost her cousins this way, the whole family died from dryer lint that caught fire, swear to god. Oh, you gotta clean that stuff out. Scary!!!

  784. Hi GFTG. I have tried keeping up with your stay at the Mayo, and it sounds like some of it was good news? After all of the initial frustration did you feel that it was worth your time and money? The stress alone couldn’t have been good for you. I hope you will take some of the time offered to you to re-boot and relax.

  785. 1K would buy a lot of beeswax. that is how I measure everything in life right now!

  786. Shanna and I were just talking about Almost Moon this very afternoon. Thats how it works here, you think it or say it and come on and somebody is discussing it.

  787. 10 days until I see Elton John and Billy Joel – together. oh my.

  788. Caryl – It was worth it, but the stress those first five days just really put me in crazy lady mode. I just have super bad luck. I’m bummed that I couldn’t get into see the Cardiologist like they recommended, as my heart has some weird type of low voltage? Whatever that means, And I forgot to ask a bunch of questions. But, finding out things to keep an eye on, like blood clots and possible kidney disease, glad to know. I have a friend who has a weird spine infection that caused paralysis, and I keep begging her to go there. I am relaxing this week, but i’m bored, too. I am not made to sit still.

  789. i am made to be in tornado speed or sitting so still that I grow mold

  790. I keep meaning to buy that book Caryl. Darn it, i’m looking away again.

    Sher, I just love both those guys. I’ve heard its a great concert, but I’ve never seen either of them perform before.

    Kittery, I laughed that you didn’t want to share your stickers. I think I would have done the same thing.

  791. Shoot Sher, the more I sit, the dummer I am. I almost sprayed my artificial saliva in my nose today. At least it wasn’t my allergy spray in my mouth.

  792. kittery likes stickers . . . my brother-in-law is a designer for smilemakers, they are like the no. 1 sticker makes in the world

    http://www.smilemakers.com

    what are your favorites, he gets like a 90 percent discount . . .

  793. aren’t saliva and nose moisture the same thing . . . I think they are

  794. Sher – Wow, that is a fun job. I still have a page of stickers tucked away in my middle school yearbooks. Oh, Kittery, go for it!

  795. Oh I just cracked up. On that website is a sticker of Pooh standing with his arms crossed. Next to him is an empty honey pot and two bees buzzing around. The caption reads: “I pitched a fit”. HAH!

  796. ok…kittery, I will get those ordered for you dear . . . you’ll have to send my your address, if you haven’t all ready. my brain is coated in scum tonight . . .

  797. Well, I have artificial tears that come in vials, and allergy spray for my nose, but the artificial tears are real, well, gell like, tasty but gross texture. I also have to use vasaline in my nose, its torn on the inside. I am a disaster, reading over those sentences. Ha ha the little asain boy giving me a pedicure today kept asking me do I put lotion on my feet every day … I kept trying to tell him I have a genetic condition. Sigh. People of the world, I am dry, get used to it.

  798. i think haven was teasing us with her brief appearance . . . and I am very tired and get to drive into Nashville in RUSH HOUR tomorrow to take Dylan for a heart ‘echo doppler’ which I just refuse to be worried about yet. i am pre-worried.

  799. oh dear . . .

  800. Sher – Wait, why is he having one? I had one before. Breathing troubles? Oh sher, good luck and go to sleep.

    And, I’m NEVER on her when Haven is, I miss out on ALL of the fun conversations. I’m sad I’m going to miss her again. Come back Haven, come back! I’ll talk rock music with you.

  801. I really hope Dylan is okay, Sher. If I can help you somehow, lemme know. :)

  802. yes, breathing trouble which always gets blamed on allergies, but the allergy medicine doesn’t help . . . so then he went to the allergist today (whilst I was with 500 million screaming banshees at the zoo) and they confirm an airway restriction . . . and scheduled the echo/doppler at Vandy/Nashville . . .I keep saying, they are just eliminating the big reasons and I don’t even have time or energy to get crazy yet, and it wouldn’t do any good anyway.

    Hopefully will know something tomorrow. then I have to finish a commission which is being picked up tomorrow night, cut out and bake the 6 batches of sugar cookies I made tonight, and decorate them . . all before Friday!

    Ha! this is a night I could use one of my 48 hour whirl winds of energy

  803. Sher – Oh, shit, stay brave and I’ll be thinking of you. If only I lived closer, I would bake those cookies for you…

  804. thanks Kittery and all – I am trying to be routine about it and am glad somebody is finally trying to get to the root of the issues instead of general excuses . . . as GiGi is the queen of patience and being her own patient advocate, I am trying to be more specific with symptoms and what I want from a doctor’s visit – my goal is a maintenance plan for the symptoms that work. my goal is answers.

  805. I forgot to say that its one of the only medical tests I’ve ever had where they instantly tell you the results. So, that’s good and something to focus on.

  806. you are all great . . . he could just be having panic attacks like tony soprano (this is my idea) . . . but at least we might now . . .

    I am crashing . . .

    good night lovelies!

    Haven – Hi! Hope you are awesome!!!

  807. Sher, the Mayo Rheumatologist told me I am horrible at talking to doctors. She made me laugh my butt off. Write your stuff down, give the top three problems, leave space for what they are going to tell you and write it all down or make them write it down for you. Hubby and I had a six hour argument because he misheard the Neurologist. I was right, of course…

  808. of course you were right!

    I love note taking . . . that is one thing I can do and then Don can explain what all the words I wrote down mean!

  809. OK, the weirdest thing just happeneded to me. Shush, I hope “they” are not watching me.

    I complained a tiny bit on cnn’s blog post about American Idol, and how it makes me mad that they just write five little lines about the show and get the top posts on wordpress because they are a VIP blogger, and that little bloggers like me don’t even get hits on our posts about Idol anymore because no one reads our blogs. Sure, I admitted to them it sounded bitchy, but I also said something like I take the time to prove that I watch the show in my posts. Of course my comment doesn’t go through on CNN, and ten minutes later, all of a sudden, all of the CNN blog posts about Idol are gone from wordpress, and its all different bloggers under the Idol tag. I mean, what just happened?

  810. Hello, Miss Kittery. A pleasure to see your . . . television rabbit avatar in green dancey tights.

    Carrie and Sher: I received gifts from you both on the same day, and on that day had ordered LITTLE somethings for the two of you PRIOR to the visit from John The Mailman. They’re on their way, and I thought if they hadn’t arrived today I would send one thank you note: coin flip went to Sher. I would rather send the thank you notes with the somethings because HELLO, two post offices are two too many.

    Who knew there were so many ways to spell Molly? Where did I get my spelling, from the fish store? I like it, is the problem. It has two ‘L’s in the middle and THEN an “ie” and that’s quite pretty.

    On the day I was to have Slumber Party with Kat, go visit Amanda, play pool, eat cupcakes, go horseback riding the next morning? Gus developed a fever of 103, Kat became violently ill. The whole of it just *piffed* out of my hands, I knew it in an instant. Last night (was it last night?) Amanda and I were talking about the turn of events and I told her there had been a moment when Kat detailed the agenda that I’d thought, “Wait, am I — am I allowed to do things?” It seemed so unlikely. So how was I to read the way it unfolded? Smart, smart Amanda said that I can still do things but I can’t plan to do them. RIGHT? It’s like telegraphing a pass. As for sneaking up on events? I haven’t gotten that far. But I’m thinking about it.

    Thank you all, infinitely, for your sweet sweet concern — whenever that was. NOT last night, longer backward. I had stopped thinking about it at all after a few days. As the charges began with the hours I spend working, I surrendered, checked Guilty, have been working ever since. Not well, mind you, not to any great ends. But I’ve got BABIES TO FEED, this isn’t a multiple choice sort of thing.

    As far as loving forgiveness (I’m sorry, I lost track of who suggested it), there is nothing to forgive. I don’t hold that position of authority over another. All there are — at least in the animal kingdom, where I live — are actions. I’m sure we both feel we acted authentically, as we all tend to believe, and we probably both did. The hyena and the gazelle both behave authentically, and look how that turns out.

    Shanna: I have read what you sent me at least four times. Yesterday I realized I hadn’t told you I was pondering, so I e-mailed Caryl and told her, hoping she would tell you, but I forgot to add that she should tell you. Knowing Caryl she hasn’t said a word. YES, I could have written directly to you but then I would have ceased pondering and begun corresponding, and this way I was still pondering but using Caryl in a game of Telephone. Obviously.

    Linda, there was something I wanted you to tell Sam. I’ve lost it — I think it was a book recommendation. Until I remember just say, “Sam, you are so crazy excellent.”

    I suppose you all heard about Van Gogh’s ear. GOD, that Gauguin, he was saucy! How many men slice off another man’s ear while fencing outside a brothel, only to have the injured man hand over his disembodied ear flesh to a prostitute? It happened in Indiana fairly often but is SO not southern. Wait, I reversed those two regions. I’m glad we’re revisiting Van Gogh’s ear, that’s all I mean. I like how we’ve found a way to cut it off in a NEW way.

    Other than that, my news is: I accidentally bought a new taxidermy while on taxidermy hiatus. Lovely Dianne was here when it happened and she has testified I did NOT buy it, and indeed neither of us understand how I went from looking at it to receiving an invoice for it, which three days of wrangling could not undo. Also: Obadiah and I stayed up all night playing with the computer Augusten built for me. There was also a LOT of talking about things; O. believes I should know much more than I do so he tells me. At one point we were watching various things on hulu and both were so hysterical I feared the police would be called. AH I almost forgot! Kittery, it was your dad who sent the beautiful gift to Delonda, yes? She called the day it arrived and I wrote down what she said. There was “green,” “prayer shawl,” “beautiful,” “do all those precious people know how horrible you were as a teenager,” “thank them both so much for me.” I think that about covers it.

    Jenny, forgive me for not having checked in for so long. I understand how difficult it must be to resolve the crisis you’re in while pregnant. There was a period during my pregnancy with Baby Gus that I couldn’t read, because if I scanned my eyes across a page I developed vertigo or else just went ahead and threw up. That can mess up a day, for sure. It seems to me you’ve been given superior advice and concern by everyone here, all of whom are also aware that no one can help you or make you leave unless you want to. You are always free to just say, “I don’t want to,” and I guarantee everyone here will back way up. What I hope doesn’t happen is the Blog Conversation of Extreme Frustration. (I know, is there any other kind on most blogs? Not this one.) You are pregnant, being abused by a man in a position of power — a man who seems, from your description, to be sociopathic — and your reason for not leaving is student loans? You see how the Frustration Conversation could begin, because that’s a false quantity. There is no such thing as student loans when both your own and your baby’s lives are at risk. George was dead-on, as was Shanna. There is not one earthly reason for you to remain where you are, it cannot be justified by anything other than, “I don’t want to leave.” Conceding all of your own power and authority, over your body and your fate, to a sociopath — believing even that law enforcement will take his side, that you have no civil or constitutional rights, so great is his power — can only be justified by your saying, “I want to stay here.” We have no choice but to respect your decision, as long as you own it as your decision. I’ve recently read two radically different sides in the feminist argument for a) pushing women harder to leave abusive relationships, or b) recognizing how near-impossible leaving can be, because it is mentally impossible. The latter’s article was nuanced and compassionate; it was written by a woman who has worked in a shelter for women for many years. What seemed most germane was this: simply being treated in an unpredictable, violent way is so disorienting, particularly if you believe your mate to be good or loving, that nothing makes sense. The ground shifts beneath your feet every time he behaves in a manner that can’t be reconciled to either goodness or love. It continues to rock and tilt until, in essence, he is victorious, because you can no longer think clearly and will do one counterintuitive thing after another. You don’t seem to believe your husband good or loving, but something has caused you to make many counterintuitive decisions. I hope you’ll be able to live according to your own will and by the liberty of your own conscience, if that is not already the case.

    Love to all — H.

  811. Haven, I’m so sorry you missed out on cupcakes and slumber parties. Illness is never fun, and I hope they are both feeling better. You need fun time, down time, and cupcake time. You deserve it.

    And, what did you end up buying?

  812. Haven — I believe my computer, in its current state, absolutely capable of hitting BID NOW!! on its very own. Was this before or after the new Augusten-built computer?

  813. Wait — is it possible my computer also sent you a gift? Besides the one sitting on my dining room table because I have many packages to post office that aren’t quite ready and I am a little P.O. phobic? Or maybe it is that Carrie Link sent you a gift, and I am unfairly accusing blameless technology. Yes. Much more likely.

  814. Morning!
    I humbly hand over my college-fire-story crown to Steph. Yeesh! Wow.
    In terms of teen-loved videos, I recommend the rap remix of the Slap Chop infomercial.

  815. Morning all…

    If you haven’t seen Maureen’s movie, then give yourselves a blessing this morning and head over to her blog and check it out.

    I told her that my whole day may the better for having seen it…those cows were giddy…they were joyous and light and dancing (as only a cow can) and head-butting! Oh, if I could cream my coffee from the milk of one of those freedom-drunk beauties, I wouldn’t need sugar now, would I?

    Thank you so much!

    What a gift.

    GIGI: I’m not saying that watching this movie will cure you, but I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better.

    JENNY: I’m not saying that your situation will become magically resolved, but if you watch this movie, pay attention to how happy the beasts are now that they are FREE, FREE, FREE of the barn (and I bet at least one or two of them are pregnant and a couple of them have some student loans to pay off, particularly the ones who majored in classicow studies in Bovine U.)

    Sher: There’s inspiration there in that movie.

    Linda: Those cows weren’t too happy about your grilling hamburger story, but they are models of forgiveness, and maybe more importantly, forgetfulness.

    Haven: Two of those cows were butting heads over their competing bids on E-bay.

    Take care everyone….

  816. I am SO GLAD everyone liked the cow movie. I am considering a second version with “Big Sky” as the soundtrack. Yes, my Kate Bush thing is a bit over the top.

  817. I thought I was happy with my chickens, but of course now I want a COW…I want Jill…

  818. My sister has chickens and I must say that I have never understood why she feels the need to have to deal with them every single day. Kind of stinky and sort of dopey little creatures. Sorry!

    But, cows! That is an entirely different story.

    George – I think the “hamburgers” we grilled last night were only about 10% meat and I am not sure that 10% actually came from cows. I did not buy them, but let’s just say they were purchased cheaply as the team needs to make money on the endeavor. And no health department codes are consulted (or followed) in the cooking and selling of these concession stand burgers. In other words, I cook ‘em but I do not eat ‘em.

  819. aw . . . so calming to have a post from Haven upon my return.

    i thought about the cow movie all day yesterday and today . . . well, every since i saw it . . . and the lyrics and I went on a re-visit to Kate Bush land last weekend . . . during my all nighter in the studio I listened to all albums . . . probably twice.

    she is a miracle, is that woman.

    so dylan was allowed to return home, but no official report on his echo/doppler, but that they wouldn’t let him go if he was not ‘safe’.

    It was bizaree while they did it – it is basically an ultrasound of the heart and seemed to cover neck to belly button.

    it looks just like the machines they use for the baby ultrasounds . . . which took me back to my pregnancy with him, and how excited we were . . . even the heartbeats sounded so ‘familiar’ – it was bittersweet.

    I’m exhausted and off for a, hopefully, rejuvenating nap so I can attack and conquer the rest of this day.

    love you all, one and each.

  820. I’d put off watching all movies till I have sound later this week, but had to watch the cow movie, and Mo, I have to say, I’ve never seen cows run. Or head butt. Or kick up their heels. That was a giddy spring gift you gave us — thank you! (George: dancing cows. Yup. That’s it.)

  821. So that they let him come home is good, is that right Sher? Keep us posted…sleep sweet xoxo

  822. In defense of the Chicken…I can honestly say that although I balk at and Do Not Enjoy the cleaning of the habitats of my parakeets, mice, rabbits and hedgehog,sometimes feel put out cleaning up after the dogs and cats, I NEVER begrudge one second of the chicken tending, and can truly say it is a labor of love that (in my Caroline Ingalls fantasy) I look forward to…

    No need to be sorry Linda! But I’ll just bet I could convert you with some personal time in the backyard!

  823. I’m afraid that chickens would not last long in my yard, Sherrill. Foster is a true retriever in that he loves to chase things. He does that pointing thing with his tail, pauses, and then- BAM! The chickens would not know what hit them.

  824. Cows are a thousand times more poopy than chickens! The cows that roam around these parts don’t spell all that pleasant either.

    That’s exactly why I have a small dog. Picking up the poop is a whole lot less horrible than it would be for a big dog.

  825. I don’t give a crap about picking up after my dogs. I can pick up with a plastic bag in one hand while holding an Oh Henry candy bar in the other.

  826. …the trick is not forgetting which hand holds what

  827. eeewwww

    On another note, Doris Kearns Goodwin is the Senior Day Speaker tomorrow here at Vandy. I think I will wander across the street to hear her. I saw her on the Daily Show and she was funny – and interesting.

  828. Irony of all ironies, I just watched a full-length documentary about Ingrid Newkirk and PETA with my Ag class! Needless to say, it sparked some good discussion, since most of my students (and me) are farmers!

    George: “I don’t give a CRAP about picking up after my dogs” ?
    Ha. Intentional pun? (I am guessing so coming from a lit-y witty man such as yourself.

    Oh Henry bar – swimming pool scene from Caddyshack anyone??

  829. Maureen: Are you on a rural electric cooperative line?

  830. why must i pick up my dog poop, but when all the people ride their horses to dunkin donuts, the horse puckey is free to land where it may?

  831. Nice point…also, WARNING: do not eat the chocolate dunkin’ sticks.

  832. Another warning George, make sure not to tuck your hair behind your ears with the WRONG hand when picking up doggie poo.
    I wear a latex glove when picking it up and I love to imagine the neighbors being grossed out thinking I am picking it up with my bare hand!
    Love to the Fick Family today~

  833. We use those two piece scooper thingys so your hands don’t actually have to get anywhere near it. Eww Eww Ewww. It is hard to believe I had babies.

  834. in high school, where we weren’t aloud (freudian I intended allowed) to swear, slang, dang or spit . . . we invented this term

    ‘pooper scoopers’ . . . we STILL got in trouble. then we finally realized were not allowed to speak, especially if we were girls, and that took care of our problem . . . you just had to remember “don’t say anything . . . don’t say anything” . .. you were safe if you kept your mouth SHUT,

    pooper scoopers. sucky memory.

  835. i’m supposed to be sleeping

  836. I don’t pick up poop. They poop in the yard and it just stays there to become one with the earth.

  837. Pooper scoopers are no good because sometimes the poop STICKS to them and then what?! Yuck.

  838. George – No, unfortunately, we get electric from the most evil NYSEG and it costs over $1000 per month (yes, that was one thousand). Our community to the north, Sherburne, has its own electric service and dairies up there pay about $300 per month. It ain’t fair!

    Sher – I am thinking of Dylan. When I had the worst of my anxiety, shortness of breath was one of my chief symptoms, like I was hyper-ventilating, couldn’t get a full breath. Hopefully they will figure it out for him soon.

  839. Speaking of Louise Erdrich (many comments ago), I also really love Linda Hogan. Solar Storms is one of my favorite books, also Power.

  840. NoraB, I looked at your chicken pictures, and they look so soft and pet-able. It made me want pet chickens too. Only I really couldn’t handle them.

    And… for the record… I did not set my apartment on fire.

    The dryer simply started to smell CRISPY then died.

    That is all that happened.

  841. amber, “crispy” just made me laugh out loud

  842. Amber! They ARE soft and petable! The buff opingtons compete for my attention, and love to be petted and picked up…My sweet girls…

  843. Thinking of you all after reading all posts…wow..
    showing the lovely dancing cows to Cheryl here at the office…hysterical.
    Haven, hope you are well and we are all thinking toward Sher and Dylan.+
    Maureen: will have to look up Linda Hogan.
    Swamped…my little rowboat sunk to the edges with work and family so am so glad you guys are here to boost me up.
    Did I say we get to go see Garrison Kiellor from Prairie Home Companion on Monday? We love him..he makes us laugh in his gentle way, and I swear we actually grew up in Lake Woebegone, it was just named differently at the time.

  844. Still at school. Grading research papers. Someone please kill me.

  845. I guess I could come kill you if you ask nicely.

  846. But then who would precede me into restaurants to tell the hostess that there are two of us?

    Who would talk to other people so I don’t have to?

    Who would make a giant bon bon for me if I’m having a bad day?

    Who would call to sing at my voicemail, or tell me about the couple shamelessly making out at the red light?

    Nevermind… I just can’t do it.

  847. Pee first Molly!

  848. Steph! I am so proud of myself that I made someone laugh. Hee!

  849. Oh – I just love Amber and Molly, both individually and as a friendship. AND, Miss Amber, it is great to be seeing so much of you here!!

    Andy has left for a two-day fishing trip with two of his own blog buddies (Lake Ontario United Forum). He has called me FOUR times since he left, and he’s not there yet. Sigh. Biggest fish wins $20,000!!

    I’m off to bed because I have a cow in labor and must do a midnight check. God, I am boring. Blah blah blah cows. Blah blah blah cows.

    So to break up my own tedium, here is Rap Slap Chop, a big favorite here in male adolescence land.

  850. WHO WAS IT THAT SAID ‘EVERY TIME I READ/DO SOMETHING, I COME TO THE BLOG LATER AND THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT” ?

    Well. Can you guess what I just came home to?

    That’s right. Dog shit on the parquet floor.

    Dammit.

  851. Amber, you’re such a liar. You wouldn’t even bring dinner…
    :)

  852. OK, I’m laughing now.

    Maureen, I can only SHUDDER to think what would happen if I had tried to “slap chop” my most recent trouble away…

    Awwww, Amber.

    You know Tasha would take over in a second.

  853. i don’t think male adolescents are the only demographic for the slap chop rap video, maureen. my husband and i (age 31 and 32, respectively) were just laughing all out. full on snorting and all.

  854. checking in before falling and hopefully, sleeping, in bed . . . a crash is in order for the night.

    So we basically know that Dylan has restricted airpaths – he is constantly, in at rest, like the rest of us when we have worked out for an hour . . . so when he does do something physical . . . not so good. Also reacts mostly to toxins – fumes, smoke, gasoline, etc. . . . we’ll be getting final reports within the next few weeks. So nothing major, but we have to figure out treatments/maintenance . . . like Gigi – I am just glad to have more information so we can get a plan of action.

    Miss Claire story:

    If you didn’t know, we are living in boats here in Tennessee . . . it has rained for (slight exagerration ) 40 days and 40 nights . . . it is raincoat, galoshes, umbrella weather. Worse than London.

    Claire has been practicing opening and shutting her umbrella. I thought she had it down.

    This morning it was raining Hello Kitty and Marmadukes . . . I was waiting for her to get on the bus so I could drive like a bat out of hell through Nashville rush hour, in the middle of the storm. So she is sitting expectantly in the van at the bus stop – – – posed near the door with her umbrella ‘drawn’, ready to SHOOT it OPEN.

    As the bus barrels down the road with lights flashing – Claire screams – “HERE I GO!” and lept/flew out of the van, carrying her 400 lb. Hello Kitty Backpack – her umbrella opening before her.

    She manages, always, to get to the front of the line in front of 5 kids . . . note: umbrella is OPEN . . . she flies into the bus and gets stuck, like Winnie the Pooh, by the open umbrella . . . she pulls and she tugs . . . the other children are drowning outside because they were smart enough to have previously CLOSED their umbrellas . . . this goes on a few minutes, I start to get out of the van (umbrellaless), two other parents try to beat their way through their children, as the bus driver valiantly leans over Claire, the backpack, and the open umbrella . . .

    it finally gets closed, we would need slow motion to figure out who got their first . . . and we watch as the bus, filled with the faces of laughing children, pulls away in the rain . . . red lights fading in the mist.

  855. Also, when Claire got home today . . . there was a package waiting for her from Zippy.

    Oh, My!

    It was an adorable, minty “Peppy Mint Kitten” – which was Kat’s favorite toy as a child and Haven found a brand new, vintage one on ebay for Claire . . . it was tucked in the box with a fuzzy, polar fleece blankie.

    Claire, Peppy, and the blankie are all snuggled up in bed listening to “A Girl Named Zippy” . . .

    so, quick Thanks to Haven with note and hand drawn pictures to come soon . . .

  856. So sweet.

  857. Maureen…
    Please do not stop Cow blahing anytime soon as your Cow updates are one of the many things I look forward to here.
    Really
    Not Boring

  858. I agree . . . Maureen – I look forward to cow stories, too!

    I watched HELLO EARTH 3 times today . . . and it made me feel Better and Good, too . . . in fact, now that you know how to do this? Perhaps we can get some updates . . . and see the newborns????

    But seriously, I thought I had some big utters, but those poor girls! I can’t believe they could run with those humongo exercise balls hanging betwixt their legs. Ouch!

    Claire says – “Jill needs to wipe her butt better!”

    I said nothing about dingleberries – I restrained myself quite Well!

  859. Maureen – you could have a ‘Little House” Farm spot, where people go and stay! and you teach them how to be a farmer for a few days. I would come. I might come anyway. Seriously. Really.

  860. Also, Maureen, I cried when I heard your beloved, sweet, nurturing voice on that video.

    i miss you!

  861. Sher, I am dying over here thinking about that bus umbrella scene. Goodness, little kids are so sweet. Haven rocks for sending her that gift. I keep trying to make my 15 year old read Zippy but she’s busy discovering Stephen King, so I can’t complain.

    Maureen, I think I already said this on your blog, but I loved the video. Man, those cows were in bliss. Awe!

    Amber – You talked to me just fine. Quit being shy. I was the same way for a long time, getting bolder as I get older.

  862. Good moooooorning. In cow news, both cows freshened (had their calves) and both were bulls. Dang. Come and get them if you want them.

    I wanted to share this that I read this morning, from Thich Nhat Hanh:
    “Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.”

    I have never met such a group of people as you all who live this so clearly. So, so grateful to have you in my life. So grateful.

  863. Cows make me happy.

    Congrats on your new additions! (Even if they are bulls…)

  864. Sher – shoot! I was hoping no one would notice the lack of bovine hygiene. They will look much better in a few weeks when they have had a few showers. Those pesky hooves make it darn hard for the ladies to wipe. THEY are also embarrassed and would do something about it if they could. When I milked, I used to carry a curry comb and brush that off.

    Man, that Clare. she is just a hoot. If she and Elliot ever got in the same place at the same time, I think they might be able to levitate the Pentagon. (How did that go, by the way, Sherrill?)

  865. Hi Molly! You still there? When is school over for you?

  866. School is over in 12 days!

    I have to leave in a minute. I double booked myself today, and have to go see if there’s anyway to fix it…

  867. May 22–good bye kids!

    May 29–good bye teachers!

    June 3– HELLOOOOOOOOOO, JAPAN!

  868. Oh, hooray! I have to go through June 26! But that last week I am signed up for a Writers Workshop at Colgate. I can find and say hello to Fe for you!

  869. The Rap Slap Chop? I. Can’t. Breathe.

    Claire and the umbrella… isn’t helping in the breathing department.

    I just can’t stop laughing. What great stuff to wake up to!

    And Maureen, I like hearing about the cows too. :-)

    Kittery – I would have bet money against this outcome, but big thumbs up to Lost in Austen.

  870. I love hearing about Claire!

    I love hearing about Mo’s cows. You need to post that video to YouTube so the whole world can share in the joy.

    Molly and Amber you guys crack me up!

  871. Here is the whole story:

    http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/web/20051021-pentagon-vietnam-protest-washington-dc-lyndon-johnson-jerry-rubin-david-dellinger-allen-ginsberg-yippie-robert-mcnamara.shtml

    And here is the bottom line:

    “After the speeches, about 50,000 people set off for the Pentagon. It took them about an hour and a half to walk two miles across the Memorial Bridge and down a service road to the north parking lot where a second rally was scheduled.

    At the other end a group of hippies was trying to exorcize the Pentagon. The brainchild of Abbie Hoffman, the plan was for people to sing and chant until it levitated and turned orange, driving out the evil spirits and ending the war in Viet Nam. The Pentagon didn’t move.”

    Although Abbie always claimed that it did wobble…

    Do people still know of these events? Or are they the dim and wandering memories of the soon to be aged?

    Like my grandparents talking about the Depression, or my parents talking about WWII, I have my war protesting stories! Well…we did end the war, even if the pentagon stayed put!

  872. I remember that whole vibe, Nora. I still try to live that vibe as much as possible.

  873. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    –Margaret Mead

  874. Nora – Actually, I had heard the tale, but not from anyone who had actually been there. My husband just turned 50, so he was hanging onto the tail end of all that. At age twenty he had Roger Daltry hair and tie-dye overalls.
    BUT a favorite family video is Monterey Pop, which I really highly recommend to anyone, available through Amazon and maybe netflix.

  875. Hello BBs,

    Just watched the Slap Chop Rap…genius, really. But I got my own “Slap Chop” about 5+ years ago at a Pampered Chef party and it’s called the Handy Chopper or something like it. I didn’t know it was so versatile!

    I’ve been away for a week now because we have been battling the four-letter-word that starts with an “L” and runs rampant on nine-year-olds with long thick hair. Blech. We’re all obsessed with head-checking.

    I apologize if I made everyone’s head itch! Any homeopathic remedies? I’ll bet Molly is familiar being a school teacher…

  876. you all just KILL me. crown to the way sher wrote up the claire HERE WE GO! scene. immaculate. xo sfc

    house sale not going well — read: house hasnt sold. we have to lower the price again, which means that at close of escrow i have to basically hand over my donor organs to the Buyer, then collapse in a bonesless blue heap at a place 50 ft from the house. my FICO score will remain intact. i am beginning to think FICO stands for Fuck, I’m Completely Owned. (by the system).

  877. Suzanne…(((HUGS)))

  878. Hmm. I guess that didn’t work. How do you embed a video into a post?

    Here’s the link for the smart people to do it.

    http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/–205690924

  879. In my more ethereal days I walked through walls.

    Nowadays, I walk into them. I think it is the brain plaque.

  880. Let’s see if this works.
    I just watched this many times in a row, Linda! Cool.

    And here’s the Raconteurs alone. (My son liked this one better, of course)

  881. Nope.

  882. I have a thing for Jack White. He lives down the street from me. Seriously. He does.

  883. I loved that video! My boyfriend Ben loves Jack White. I have to play that for him when he gets home.

    I have a link too! It’s In the Heights, which is my favoritist musical ever. I’m not a fan of rap, but this show is amazing. This is the finale, but with a twist.

    I just thought it was so cool. If that were me up there, I would have flat passed out. I’m not even trying to embed that video, lol.

  884. Whoa… it’s there anyway. Wow.

    Linda, do you walk by oh so casually without looking but secretly hoping that he’s mowing the lawn or something?

    That’s what I would do.

  885. I can’t walk by his house because it is gated. But, I have talked to him in the Harris Teeter grocery store and Sam and I saw him in the Target.

  886. I just realized that Molly probably showed you that video 6 months ago. Lol. Oh well, it made me smile.

  887. I LIVE UNDER A STINKIN’ ROCK!!!!!!!!
    Duh, me, that’s the guy from The White Stripes, like I would have known that living here in the absolute STICKS, a place nearly devoid of culture and intelligence. Sorry – venting again. I just about jumped onto a school bus yesterday and let one of the redneck bus drivers have both barrels, but I stopped myself.
    I digress … back to Jack white. I LOVED Napoleon Dynamite. I’ve decided my gauge for whether I can deal with someone or not is if they think Napoleon Dynamite is funny. If they think it’s stupid, I will not click with the person.
    The Raconteurs’ version of that song in the woods is also tres cool. It looks like I MUST get to Nashville before my soul shrivels into dust.

  888. quick story about my 2 1/2 yr old, mason. potty training=naked a lot. going nudey booty (bare), he came running into the kitchen “barefooting” and held up his two hands, one with the sign for hang loose and the other for i love you, in perfect order…and looked at me and said, mama–hang loose…..(some fingers get into place)…….i love you. i have a the pic on facebook. it MADE my day. so, all the BBs, “hang loose, i love you.” -steph

  889. I love the song over the credits of Napoleon Dynamite. Jack Johnson aslso has a very good version of that song too.

    Steph – I commence to searching for you on facebook!

  890. Hi, guys.

    Just checking in after a couple days away. Haven’t had time to read up, but scrolled down to forward and stopped on Linda’s very own admission that she has a thing for Jack White, which is another reason to love her. And Maureen liks the Raconteurs, and Amy likes baseball, and oh, and all of it- where have you people BEEN all my life?

    FYI, I am hanging in OK.

    I have been disciplining myself and staying away because I so need to be productive and it is tempting to linger here.

    I miss you and am OK.

  891. Amber, I love that Lin Manuel Miranda brought that kid to NYC to do the song. So fucking sweet. I can’t WAIT for the movie.

    Helluva day. Plagiarist kids make my head itch—Vanessa, I don’t know anything homeopathic…unless homeopathic means “comes from home” then I’d suggest kerosene, which I have plenty of.

    They also have that RidX stuff which works well. And–I’d cut the kids’ hair. I’m sorry. But it’s getting on to summer…We had lice RIP through 2nd grade this year. The entire lower school was hysterical. It was awful.

    Confirmed case of swine flu up the highway a bit from us. One of our kids hangs out with a girl in the class of the kid who was diagnosed, so we’re all on the look-out. We have to shut down for 7 days if someone’s immediate family member even looks a tiny bit piggish. Fucking germs.

    Yeabook Assembly was today. all the books are passed out. Now it’s just time to wait for complaints. I swear this job is never done.

    Cows made me feel better again when I watched them a few minutes ago. lol.

    Eat Pray Love is genius, by the way, for anyone who’s not read it. I was skimming it yesterday before I lent it over to Amber, and I was like, God I need to reread this NOW. And was up kinda late doing just that. lol.

    K. Bed. Now.

  892. Jenny – Glad you checked in! AND glad you are experiencing the blog phenomenon: Where have all these people BEEN? How did they all end up in the same PLACE? How was I lucky enough to find this?

    All’s well here. Andy has not yet caught the $20,000 fish, but he has today to try.

    I see you all showing off your bolding and italics skills. Is there any way to make comment text smaller or bigger?

  893. SAVE ME!!!

    I can’t stop doing these Top 5 pics on facebook!!!!!

    I think Carrie and Sarah are the text gurus.

  894. Maureen- tell Andy to come on down to Nashville because I think he could catch that $20,000 fish in my backyard. Good grief it has been raining and raining and raining….

    Vanderbilt commencement is today and they had to move it into the yucky gym instead of having it out on beautiful Alumni Lawn. Darn weather!

  895. Molly–thanks anyway. We had it all over 2nd grade as well and it hopped over to 4th. Honestly the dread is worse than actually dealing with it. I think we have it licked–fingers crossed. We did make her cut 2 inches off but that’s all she would go for.

    I especially like to do Facebook quizzes when I have something else pressing to do…like laundry, exercise, etc. It’s quite the diversion.

    I mentioned this a while back but did anyone else read The Glass Castle? It was riveting.

    Linda…my yard here in Atlanta is a swamp. Can’t even cut the grass because it’s so soggy. Don’t we think our drought is over?

  896. Linda and Vanessa:

    It’s rained all week. Argh.

    My wife’s car broke down. I had to deal with it. Argh.

    My car broke down when my wife was driving it. I had to deal with it. Argh.

    My wife had very minor fender bender accident in downtown DC. When the police asked for her driver’s license, she had forgotten it. The police wouldn’t let her drive home to get the license. So, I had to deal with it. Argh.

    It’s just been “one of those weeks” so I’ve had to deal with it. Argh.

  897. …and now I’m talking like a pirate. Argh.

  898. George, I also find “grr” to be very therapeutic.

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard week.

  899. Amber: A hard week would have been one where the car was repossessed because I couldn’t make payments since I was unemployed and the repo men took it from the parking lot of a cancer treatment center where I was having chemotherapy and it was raining outside and I had left my umbrella in the back seat of my car.

    Now THAT would have been a hard week.

    All I had was “one of those kinds of weeks,” thank God!

    It’s all relative and all just part of living…

    I watched Michael J. Fox’s special last night on being happy and being an optimist…that’s me, actually. I have terminal cheerfulness in my soul.

  900. “Choose to be happy”-Michael J Fox
    What a man and what an example.
    Mo! I have “The Promise” ( the song from Napoleon dynamite’s ending credits) on my playlist request for my reception. I love, love that movie.
    Whenever Jeff goes fishing I always tell him to catch me a delicious bass.
    I am sooooo happy it’s Friday. I am burnt out this week.

  901. George…that’s a great lesson to keep it all in perspective.

    As a wife myself I know I’m not always the ray of sunshine that I could be–especially when dealing with car break-downs. And forgetting little things like a driver’s license.

    My fender looks like it’s been in multiple fender benders. Not all were my fault. : )

  902. Well, Vanessa…as a twice-tried husband, I know that I am not a little sunbeam myself! We try, get tried, and are trying. Right? Cars…you should see my thoroughly dented and urban Honda Civic. “Get rid of it?” said the mechanic, “Whysomeever you wanna do that? It runs don’t it and ain’t no one wanna steal it!”

  903. If you’d like to be inspired, what the commencement ceremonies of your favorite college or university. I am watching Vanderbilt’s right now (online- they had to move it in to the gym- now we have a tornado watch- ugh).

    Hearing about these amazing young people – seeing their faces and those of their parents and grandparents and family members – oh, it just gets me every year. I have watched 22 Vanderbilt commencements and they never fail to get me choked up. I am such a sap. But, truly, it is these young people who give me hope. And, with my daughter going off to college in the fall. We are just so blessed in this great nation to have so much available to us.

    Now please join me in singing your school’s alma mater.

  904. WATCH the commencement ceremonies (not what!)

    See, my sappiness is affecting my writing.

  905. Amy O. We were seperated at birth. Last night when Jack asked what dad was bbq-ing I answered ” a delicious bass”. Last week when Jack asked me to make him a turkey sandwich Steph yelled out from her room ” make your own damn quesadilla”, pronouncing the LL’s of course.

  906. i am blogging as we pull out of the driveway . . .

    off to ILLY/INDY . . . but only for 2 days . . .we’ll be back on Sunday night. I will be ‘off the grid’ until then, I am in withdrawal already.

    this blog, an addiction? oh yeah!

  907. Also to all the mommies, would be mommies, almost mommies . . . many joyous wishes to you!

  908. Caryl!!!!
    The other day Jeff and I were driving and he said Oh look there’s Uncle Rico’s van!
    It was of course a conversion van with curtains!

  909. Vanessa..I loved the Glass Castle..I couldn’t believe the resilience it just boggled my mind, I was in awe and felt humbled.
    George..we set the tivo for the Michael J. Fox show, I expect to be dazzled.
    Keep those Claire and Mason and Cow and Chicken and all dogs and children and bicycle stories coming…I love them all.
    Off to home depot with the hubby and while there will check out the breeding pair of big horned owls with at least one fuzzy baby I’ve seen. I’ll take my camera. Also, the cacti are blooming in my backyard!! Time to post some pictures, eh?
    LOL y’all

  910. oh – I am filching wireless from the cornfields, but it looks like it is a quiet night in blogland . . .

    taking my ativan, I will get through this trip unscathed!

    I’ve decided knitting will be my occupation this weekend vs. opening my mouth. It doubles as meditation and counting to 10 (in this case 73) and that combination works wonders for me . . . the ativan and the knitting

  911. Happy Birthday, Sherrill!!!!

  912. Happy Birthday, Sherrill!!! Enjoy :)

  913. Hi everyone. Happy Birthday, Sherrill, the Caroline Ingalls of my Blog Baby life!

    You might enjoy my new movie. I am just loving Movie Maker! what fun!

    http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.wordpress.com/

  914. Happy Birthday Sherrill! :)

  915. Ms. Sherrill, for you….

  916. I woke up this morning and said to myself “What are you going to do today, Mo?” To which I replied to myself “Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!”

    And that’s exactly what I did, in this order:
    1 Went to the barn with Andy at 5 AM to make sure Eduardo was feeling better and in the barn (Yes)
    2 Coffee, lectio divina
    3 Fed and moved calves
    4 Paid farm bills
    5 Breakfast with Andy: yogurt, fruit, toast, cappuccino
    6 Town: bank, garage sale (great finds: Guatemalan pants, boat-neck fleece, lampshade, CD portfolio for Iodine CDs, more stuff), post office, pharmacy
    7 Made a new Kate-Bush-meets-Maple-Hill-Farm movie (posted on my blog)
    8 Library: new Elizabeth Berg book, new Louise Erdrich story collection, Renee Zelwegger (sp?) movie about Beatrice Potter, Room with a View with Daniel Day-Lewis, etc. They almost didn’t let me take books out because of my fines (I have many books checked out for my students) and I hadn’t brushed my hair and I was wearing a black Motley Crue T-shirt. I had to smile very nicely and show ID
    9 Read “The Red Convertible” and napped
    10 Run on the Finger Lakes Trail with my dog (stopped to visit his doggie girlfriend and got separated from me). Got caught in a torrential thunderstorm, which felt like a baptism. The woods smelled incredibly good – pines, violets
    11 Stopped and talked to my neighbor and negotiated a deal so I could use the hermitage! which ironically he bought 30 years ago off from our own farm three owners back) HOORAY!!! HOORAY!!!!! He even offered to run an electric cord for me!!

    I so excited. I wasn’t going to stop, but then I thought, “The Blog Babies would expect me to do this,” so I did. Thanks, my friends.
    From The Elephant Man: “Oh, thank you! Oh, my friends!! Thank you!!”

  917. Maureen!!! That’s FABULOUS news!!! I am over the moon for you…when will you start? Oh, this is just the best way to start my day (long story why I’m starting my day at 1:23 pm). HURRAH AND HUZZAH!!

  918. Thanks, Carrie! I was thinking of you constantly throughout the whole conversation. It is raining this weekend, so next weekend if it is nice and if we’re not haying, I’ll see if I can get a start on it.
    The gruff Vietnam-vet neighbor-owner guy is a far-right Republican, so he and I have some fun joshing each other about our political views. He has tattoos and a big old white beard, and he is GRUFF, but he is really a nice guy and he was quite into the whole idea.

  919. Mo, check your email…

  920. Yay Maureen! :)

  921. Oh, and I think you’ll like Miss Potter.

  922. Drat, failed…write me through the yahoo site? — mine is the member name ending in 50…

  923. Yea Mo!!!
    I so want to come visit your farm and new writing sanctuary!
    Most Happy Birthday Wishes to Sherrill.
    Hi Carrie!!

  924. Amy and everyone –
    You are welcome anytime you are passing through East Pharsalia.

  925. Maureen!!!!!! YAY!!!! OH my gosh I am so excited for you!!!

    A Room of One’s Own! How fantastic!

  926. My passport came!!!

  927. Molly Bug –
    Konichi wa! Sugoi desu, ne? OK, that’s as much Japanese as I can remember. Oh, nothing like a passport to get the heart a-thumpin’!!! You must be practically beside yourself, like there are two of you, one next to the other, to contain the joy. Now, do we all need to write to Greg and explain the care he must take with your most precious self? explain just what a gift is traveling his way?

    Sherrill, How was your birthday? Did the chickens sing to you? I was looking at the pictures of your kids (whom, of course, I got to meet in person), and they just seem so cool. My oldest would LOVE to go to college out of the US, and it seems your daughter has been equally adventurous. I hope my own chillun turn out so well.

  928. OK. Book talk. I started Home Safe, and as usual was swept away into the comforting prose of Elizabeth Berg. I especially love how much Helen talks about her writing life, seems like an indication of Elizabeth’s own? Of course, English major that I am, I know not to assume that, but ….

    And. This.

    I opened The Red Convertible to look at the inside back flap and thought to myself “That’s not Louise Erdrich. That person looks too old.”

    This is the same phenomenon I have looking in the mirror these days: That’s not me. That person looks too old. Odd how middle age sneaks up on you. Probably because in my early twenties I looked at myself a lot in the mirror, and then there was a decade or two when I didn’t have time and it didn’t really matter.

    So, realizing how much I had let myself go, I took me down to the salon and got a makeover yesterday. Here is how I look now:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenblogbabies/photos/album/1965964459/pic/1242771136/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=21&count=20&dir=asc

  929. Why Maureen, YOU LOOK FABULOUS! LOL

  930. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends and caretakers of the female persuasion (guys, your day is next month!) xoxo

  931. And now for the tear jerker portion of our Mother’s Day programming. Allow me to share with you what Sam wrote in my card that came with a potted lavender plant:

    Mom,
    Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you so much for everything you do for Emma and me. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. You have gone through a lot this year and the way you have handled it and kept doing your daily day amazes me and I really admire it. You are an amazing mom. I have no idea what I’m gonna do when I go off on my own. Thanks for everything and Happy Mom’s Day! Love, Sam

    Awww. How sweet was that? I told him that he never has to go off on his own. He can live with me forever. LOL

  932. Yes, indeedy, we are all hot moms now!

  933. Awww, Linda, that is so, so sweet!! What an awesome kid(s) you have raised. You have every single right to be proud and celebrated this day.

    Also, I must let you know that I have watched that Raconteurs/Ricky Skaggs/Ashley Monroe video at least 45 times. Tristan and I figured out the chords, and now the two of us sit around singing it, and I walk around the barn yodeling it. We also really like the original Raconteurs video. Gotta get Andy going on his electric bass and get Elliot his drum kit. Oh! I cannot wait until summer and time to do all that kind of thing!!! Do you get a different schedule in the summer?

    I feel like so many buried parts of me are coming alive as a result of my new friends here. I have always dabbled in music (piano and singing and about 6 chords of guitar) and I was also an Art major in college, but I just cut that stuff off when we bought the farm. Now little branches are re-sprouting. I think God cuts off unproductive branches but I think he also causes fruitful branches to regrow when the conditions are right.

    So, long and short, thanks for sharing music that you like – I would NEVER have seen this one on my own. Have a wonderful day!

  934. Happy Mother’s day…

  935. First of all thanks to all of you sweethearts who noted my birthday…I was startled that you Knew it was my birthday, but daughter Kate explained, “um Mom, Facebook…” OH…

    It was a good day! Chickens laid 6 eggs in my honor (I have 6 chickens, so that means everybody contributed)…Best friend and her husband came over and built me a new raised bed for tomatoes. Ex husband the drummer came over and took me out to lunch…Several sets of old babies (some of them DRIVING THEMSELVES!) came by bearing flowers and chocolate…current babies and families bestowed a brand new set of the Little House books, and then sweet Kate came to cook me a trout and scallop dinner.
    Son David remembered to call even though he is en route to Utah with girlfriend, girlfriend’s 5 year old daughter and the puppy we rescued!

    Maureen, your movies are so lovely! Have you done this work before, or are you new? Daughter Kate studied film making at the New School, and is currently working on a doc about a TAXIDERMIST in Brooklyn…which I will, of course, send to Haven when it’s finished…

    And George, the copy of Hunter’s Horn that I ordered came yesterday, and is waiting by the bed for tonight’s peaceful end…I appreciate that you still try to live the “it’s possible to change the world and a little magic could help” vibe! I got an email through my neighborhood list serve yesterday from your friend Jeffrey, who is having a fund raising plant sale at his greenhouse on Tuesday, just in time for my tomato planting needs!

    Maureen…kind words for my offspring! a sure way to a Mom’s heart, yes? They have both walked their own paths, that’s for sure…David’s choice to get a theatre degree in England was a big favorite with me, as I got to go there for his graduation! And your new look would be the envy of Caroline…I’m sure she had somewhere in her wholesome soul a desire to dazzle the livestock!

    Love, love to all of you..(Amber! thanks for the music!)

  936. Nice makeover Maureen .. you’ve even got the Pippi hair now. ;)

    Linda, what Sam wrote is perfect. :)

  937. Maureen…Dana says the heck with the cow loving your new look…he loves it too!
    Happy Mom’s Day, Y’all.
    We did the usual brunch out and go buy plants at the nursery and plant flowers for mom’s back patio. It annoys my father every year (I think that’s one reason we do it) My mom just loves to pick out and take care of flowers and my dad the old german grump bless his heart just thinks they are a frivolous waste of time. Think of ‘Grumpy’ of the 7 dwarves in Snow White. My dad is him. That’s why I’m so short and like sparkly jewelry. hee hee.
    smooches!

  938. I am trying to do as little as possible in the way of productive things in honor of Mother’s Day. Hey, I will take any excuse I can get!

    Everyone went to church with me as my gift. LOL

    Tonight Phil and I are going to the Ryman to see Unwigged and Unplugged. Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKenan (sp?)decided instead of doing a show to revive Spinal Tap they would just be themselves. So basically, I think they just stand at three mics with guitars and sing and be their own funny selves. Should be entertaining. I think.

    I am trying to go easier on Phil. I called a marriage counselor that a friend had suggested (he is a family law attorney) and she is supposed to be really good – BUT (always a but), she does not take insurance and charges $100 per hour. She said she would go down to $80 for us. Whoo hoo. If I had an extra $80 or $160 to meet 2x in a month we wouldn’t be having the stress we are currently having due to no money. Eek gads. So, I am coasting on through the month. Emma graduates in a week. Lots of family will be here next weekend. Just trying to do the mom thing and as Sam said, just do my daily day.

  939. ohmygodlindacanipleasecometotheunwiggedandunplugged?
    pleasepleaseplease! They are so funny

    I love the “daily day”. I’m going to start using that…

    Happy Mother’s Day all!

  940. Happy Mother’s Day, beautiful mothers!

    Sam is great. Sam is good.

    Wow. Amber. You seem Really Excited about that.

    I WANNA SEE THE KILLERS!!!!!! waaaaah waaaahh

    Also, I dyed my hair–I had the right color but the wrong brand. Will be redyeing tomorrow.

    Maureen–blonde is a GREAT look for you. Your spa’s fucking awesome. Do they accept potential first born children as payment or is signing my soul over enough to guarantee me True Beauty for Japan? Because, um, I FREAKING NERVOUS!!!

    Also, I can count to 70 in Japanese.

  941. Apparently, I am SO freaking nervous, I can’t write a good sentence either.

    JENNY–you need to listen to The Killers song “Dustland Fairytale.” It was written for the lead singer’s mother. It’s gorgeous. And telling.

  942. Molls – What color is your hair now? Green? I dyed my hair red once – like, RED-red. Yeah, the blonde is working out OK. I got a lot of attention at the local ammo shop.

    People, I am having a serious mid-life crisis. I just spent five hours doing what should have taken about three. Because I was watching movies (Miss Potter and A Room with a View for about the zillioneth time) AND I was working on a new Kate Bush-Maple Hill Farm movie AND figuring out the chords for “Old Enough” AND thinking about a new title for my book AND AND FOOKING AND … (“The Commitments” anyone?)

    There is a volcano of creativity that has been squashed down for 20 years and is about to just erupt. Unfortunately, I have to continue teaching and raising my children. And I don’t want to – well, the teaching part anyway. I want a huge tsunami of money to come crashing into my house so I can take a YEAR OFF. JUST ONE YEAR. Maybe I should get my tubes untied and get pregnant again?

  943. Here are the lyrics. So beautiful. And so sad. And if Sarah knew what kind of monster she was creating, she might never have recommended this MAGNIFICENT album.

    The Dustland Fairytale beginning
    With just another white trash county kiss in ’61.
    Long brown hair, and foolish eyes.
    He’d look just like you’d want him to
    Some kind of slick chrome American prince.

    Blue Jean serenade
    Moon river what you do to me.
    I don’t believe you.

    Saw Cinderella in a party dress, she was looking for a nightgown.
    I saw the devil wrapping up his hands, he’s getting ready for the showdown.
    I saw the minute that I turned away, I got my money on a pawn tonight.

    Change came in disguise of revelation, set his soul on fire.
    She said she always knew he’d come around.
    And the decades disappear
    Like sinking ships but we persevere.
    God gives us hope but we still fear, we don’t know.

    Your mind is poisoned.
    Castles in the sky, sit stranded, vandalized.
    The drawbridge is closing.

    Saw Cinderella in a party dress, she was looking for a nightgown.
    I saw the devil wrapping up his hands, he’s getting ready for the showdown.
    I saw the ending where they turned the page, I threw my money and I ran away.
    Sent to the valley of the great divide
    Out where the dreams all hide.
    Out where the wind don’t blow,
    Out here the good girls die.
    And the sky moves slow
    Out here the bird don’t sing
    Out here the field don’t blow
    Out here the bell don’t ring
    Out hear the bell don’t ring
    Out here the good girls die
    Now Cinderella don’t you go to sleep, it’s such a bitter form of refuge.
    Why don’t you know the kingdoms under siege and everyone needs you
    Is there still magic in the midnight sun, or did you leave it back in ’61?
    In the cadence of a young man’s eyes.
    Out where the dreams all hide

  944. Happy Mother’s Day all you moms out there…your kids are so lucky to have you!

    I am in Vegas (again) for a conference that my association is putting on so my appearances will be spasmodic, episodic, and probably chaotic.

    Nora: I hope you like that book.

  945. George, would you put down $20 on something that wins be some back?

  946. LINDA HAPPY MOTHERS DAY.

    you rock.

    eve if you only go once, i feel you may want to see the marriage mentalist. $80 is expensive, i know. but divorce is far more expensive. i say that without sentimentality. it just is.
    xoxo
    sfc

  947. A Happy Mothers Day to all of you. Molly, thank you so much for the song, I am mad for it. xoxo

  948. Caryl, I tell you true–the whole album is amazing. Did you get to hear this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npTz7NJri8Q ?

    Oh my gosh. I am IN LOVE with this band.

  949. Oh, Linda–I am sorry it’s so frickin’ expensive, but I’m glad you’re thinking about positive steps you can take. YAY!

    Maureen–it’s just redder than it was. lol. Not terrible. Well, you can decide for yourself. I just put up new pictures of me and my puppies on facebook.

    Also, I understand exactly what you mean about the year off. I keep thinking about the deal Dean Koontz’s wife offered him: I’ll support you for 5 years while you try to sell your work. After that, you can continue writing, but you have to get a Real Job.

    I would KILL for this deal. Well, maybe not kill. But there’d prolly be some maiming involved.

  950. Happy Mother’s Day to all you ladies with a naughty sense of humor:

  951. Hi, Babies.

    Out of touch for a long time- just getting a chance to catch up and will write while waiting for Maureen’s THIS is Spring video to take its sweet time loading on this wireless connection.

    Haven, your description of what it’s like to be in this kind of relationship spoke to my heart like nothing I’ve ever encountered. The disorientation and confusion it wreaks, the way it has made me doubt and question the smallest things until I lose my competency as a human being- all spot on. And also, as you pointed out, my husband is not all-good or all-bad. In my mind, I refer to him as “Good Marty” and “Bad Marty.” And “Good Marty” is capable of some of the most astounding acts of goodness and compassion I’ve ever encountered in a human being. Deep down, he is a lovely and gentle and sensitive soul who is damaged beyond repair. I cannot save him, and I cannot stay with him, but the struggle to do both has been fierce. It grieves me terribly to give up on this although I know I must and am resolved to do so. Anyway, thank you for capturing my experience in such a clear way. It makes me feel known.

    For all Babies: First I will share an explanation to you dear hearts who are entreating me to leave this marriage, and then I will tell you a story. I will do these in two separate posts- the first an obligatory slog and the second a more normal sort of Jenny-thing to be doing. Please feel free to skip this one so we can get down to the business of better and more important things.

    Preliminarily, I want to beg forgiveness for having barged into this lovely group and monopolized your time and concern and brainpower with my troubles. You are right, of course. I need to leave, and I AM leaving in good time. The student loan issue, however, is not trivial to me. It is inescapable and currently eating over half my take-home pay. Should I leave now without money in the bank, putting those loans into forebearance, the interest will accrue over the next year or so to raise the montly payment to over $2K montly. I simply cannot do that. That fear is greater for me than the fear of staying where I am for another 5 months, and here is why:

    We were poor growing up. I worked full time in high-school (some jobs under the table, as child labor laws don’t allow full-time work) to help us get by. This was not an easy task.

    When it was time for college, the (relatively) large income I’d earned legally as a high-school student counted against me when it came to receiving student loans, requiring me to pony up again. SO, I worked several jobs the first year of college. Couldn’t hack the emotional strain of juggling three jobs and classes, dropped out for a semester, and found a job that would pay me a living wage, with benefits, for working 2 29-hour shifts per week at a group home. Continued at college full-time, working 58 hours per week at my job, and graduated with honors.

    Got to grad-school, and was the only person in my class (and believe in my school’s history) to get out of there in 4 years with my dissertation complete AND an exclusive, highly-competetive full-time internship under my belt. Went from there to a 50-hour per week post-doc fellowship at Harvard which paid me $800 per month LESS than my monthly bills. So I took extra work above and beyond to make up the difference over the next 3 years.

    And the crux of it is, that after all that time I am still poor but more than that, I’m TIRED. I had one glorious summer of freedom in grad school (funded by my participation in a study on the effects of high altitude on women, which is a story in and of itself). But honestly, I’ve worked harder than anyone I know and harder than was probably good for me. I’ve worked and worked and worked at the expense of my spirit and soul for decades now, all in the hopes that someday I would be free of it. And I am nearly 40, and I am not free of it. It’s as bad as ever.

    And the prospect of being similarly burdened, working all of my wakings hours for the rest of my life, is terrible to me. I cannot waste away the time I have left by allowing this debt to grow into a monster that enslaves me more and more tightly. I need to have a good life, and I want to have a good life with this baby. I cannot continue to work 80-hour weeks. I need so need this rest of several months, which I am currently working to achieve, after the baby is born. I want just a temporary reprieve, a quite time to recover and have just a few months’ respite from worry about money.

    And that’s it. I’m tired deep down in my soul and so terribly sad about what’s happened in my life that I just can’t face the prospect of throwing myself into the workforce again the minute this baby is born. I need to breathe. I need to learn my baby’s face and heal and rest so I can become a good mommy with a living spirit.

    And that’s why I stay.

    I hope you can understand it and forgive me and not judge me for it. I am striving toward the thing that will put me at ease.

  952. Oy, enough. I am tired of myself. I have a funny and more simple and normal story for you all, but will need to put this away for later.

    Maureen, I CANNOT load your happy cow video. Will keep trying.

    Good night Babies all.

  953. HAPPY WHATEVER DAY THIS IS TO YOU. I was going to put up a new post today but these holidays are ridiculous and exclusionary; many of you aren’t mothers, many of you are motherless or should have been, some are grieving over mothers or children or both, so really — let’s don’t dwell on it. I put away what I was writing and will decide whether any of it needs to be said another time.

    INSTEAD! I’m going to launch a new feature — meaning I might repeat it and I might never — in which you’re invited to ask a question or advice as if I were a columnist in a newspaper, because soon there will be no newspapers. I can’t keep the Foreign Desk alive, and I can’t offer you a daily cartoon strip. I hate crossword puzzles, I rarely write op-ed pieces, and I don’t offer pages and pages of advertising, SO. That leaves Advice. Send your question (anonymously or not, although probably) to the webmaster (that would be Scott, who is truly masterful) and I’ll sort through them in the next couple of days. Remember this is a General Public website, on the whole, and while Scott and I both might love reading questions about outrageous sexual dilemmas, NO. I can not. While I WAS raised among livestock and thus cannot be shocked, I am also a Quaker and will use said religious designation to protect my feigned delicacy at all times.

    xo
    HK

  954. Haven –
    Love the concept!!! I am thinking ……
    Should we post our questions here or is there another way to get stuff to Scott?

    Speaking of which, I sat and watched ALL of Scott’s website films the other day. Scott, are you reading this? I was … transported. It was like being in dreams, some good, some troubling. I am working on a Kate Bush Meets Maple Hill Farm series just for fun, with my paltry skill on Movie Maker, and I realized my current project (not posted yet) was inspired by you. Take it as a huge compliment not plagiarism (do you call it that in the film world?)Thanks for your webmastering. I also decided to blog in wordpress because I had learned so much from the design of this blog.

    Oooo, Haven, sorry, didn’t mean to go all Scott, Scott, Scott ….
    Glad you are popping up for air and I hope the book is going well. I am chewing my hand off in anticipation of your farm book, but the wait is making it even more delicious to imagine …..

    Jenny – I e-mailed.
    I gots ta to go feed some calves ……..

    Love to all. Thank you for liking me.

  955. Jenny–

    My story is not as dramatic as yours, but as my new beau once said to me, “Does it really matter if you’re devoured by 12,300,000 degree fireball or a 12,300 degree fireball? No. You are still burnt to nothing inside and out.”

    There is nothing but love and acceptance here (unless one does something fucking CRAZY like attacks Haven or another Baby–which, duh, you would never do). Other may not understand your decision, may truly diasgree with it, worry over it, but unless I am gravely mistaken (and I am usually not), no one’s going to judge you too harshly. We all have our burdens (fireball analogy), and you have enough to bear without your new found tribe adding to it.

    That’s my two cents. Now–off to SlimFast Land so that I look good in Japan Land.

    OOH-Haven–cool idea! I’m mulling my questions over!

  956. Maureen–how could people not ADORE you?

  957. Thanks, Bug.
    Hey, I have a name for this little 6:30 – 7 blog chatting between you and me: Pre-School. Ha!

    Anyway, I finally gave up on finding a friend in Chenango County – I think I might post on my blog about this phenomenon – I am generally considered weird around here and have not had much chance to venture far outside Chenango boundaries. Twenty years is a very long time to have no one but your sister think you are fun to hang with. Too intense. Too bookish. So … thus the thanks to the blog.

    You are gorgeous without the Slimfast, of course.

  958. Last thing before I set off (Um, Jody, where are you? Molls and I want you at Pre-School) …

    I just saw this in Publisher’s Week:

    “Erin Blakemore’s THE HEROINE’S BOOKSHELF, a look at literature’s greatest and most enduring female characters — such as Jo March, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Laura Ingalls and others — and their authors, who have helped shape the inner lives of generations of women, teasing out universal tenets of strength and survival, and gleaning the wisdom and solace they offer to help women navigate these challenging times and find their inner heroine, to Jeanette Perez at Harper, in a nice deal, by Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary (World).”

    I am experiencing equal parts congratulations to the author, excitement about the book itself, and dark green shades of intense jealousy …. Sigh. Bye.

  959. Oop. JodI.

  960. Hey Maureen,

    It’s Jod-I here. Wha … What was the question?

  961. Maureen,

    The Pre-School chat? I’m there! With only seventeen days to go until the end of the school year, my students are acting like they’re in pre-school instead of middle school. (Little joke there. Very little.)

    Chenango County? As in Chenango China, famous for its hotelware?

    Here in Jodi-World I’ve been doing serious spring cleaning. I had an epiphany while helping clean out the home of an elderly woman who has moved to an assisted living facility. There was a lifetime of STUFF — plastic bags, dog toys, receipts, cheap gifts, half-used candles, potpourri, — you name it, all cascading as closet and cabinet doors were opened, all dusty and unused.

    When I got home, I excavated everything – EVERYTHING – I haven’t used in the past six months and either gifted it or donated it. Most of it was GOOD STUFF. Haven has my Italian leathers and several vintage pieces of china. Once friends shopped my “garage sale,” the rest went to the GoodWill.

    I’m still enjoying all the SPACE I’ve acquired since the excavation. I open closet doors and smile at the organization. My husband, who has always said I have Too Much, has begun taking things out of my hands that I want to donate, and putting them back.

  962. I picked up Louis Bayard’s “The Black Tower,” and am really enjoying it. I first liked Bayard from reading “Mr. Timothy,” Bayard’s tale of Dickens’ Tiny Tim as an adult. His writing is elegant and his unique turns-of-phrase are delightful. Does anyone else like his work?

  963. Maureen – i am breathless about your artistic re-birth. Oh, the places you’ll go . . . isn’t it interesting that once we name that which we desire – it falls in our laps?

    Haven – brilliant blogging model. And it is just HAVENLY to see you posted . . .

    Jenny – you have one of those great things going for you – ‘Know thyself. To they own self, be true” While you are still there, please be vigilant of your soul and try to stay focused and calm. Our babies really can be affected by our pregnancy states of mind. As you plan your escape try to encase yourself in a protective womb and don’t let any of that negative crap affect you.

    I began ‘rocking’ when pregnant . .. then realized that I was rocking myself, trying to calm my spirit in preparation of bringing forth another human being. I remember being told that I wasn’t rocked as a baby, that my older sister was used to being rocked, so I got stuck in a crib, while my mom rocked my 4 year old sister. That really set up our relationship from then own.

    I still rock myself.

  964. another bizarre thing – when leaving my ex, I wrote a Declaration of Independence. It is something that I still live by even though I am going into a two decade relationship now. And sometimes, when I wonder what is going wrong with my relationship to anybody (friends, siblings, etc) I can think of the Declaration and realize that I am allowing myself to be disenfranchised emotionally, etc.

    ok, now I am off to catch up on some sleep after the crazy, travelling weekend.

    Milkduds, Fudgecicles, spa in a box, Betsey Johnson perfume (which is no longer being made and it is my signature scent) . . . a sweet mother’s day for sure.

  965. oops – Jodi – we were simulposting . . .

    love the shedding of excess . . . that sounds so empowering! I am in awe.

  966. Good morning! Haven, what a lovely idea. I cannot wait to see what is generated here, although I am officially opting out of the advice department.

    Molly, what a funny fireball question- it describes things very well. Made me think of the ‘consolation or desolation’ dilemma, which is lovely and helpful unless there are two options, both of which incur ‘desolation.’ Methinks Linda is in that particular boat, which I do understand, and I have been wanting to tell her that I think one has to choose the option in which ‘desolation’ is most likely to be temporary.

    Sher, thank you. Your capacity to use words in the service of crafting love is astounding. As an artist and a person, you create beauty and light where there was none before. I am glad you are in the world! How lucky for the rest of us.

  967. It has come to my attention that a fictionalized character in a certain children’s book may well have been based on me. I have no proof, but the similarities are uncanny and unsettling.

    I can remember much of my reasoning during the season of life covered by the book. While some of my choices may not have been the best, I believe the book’s portrayal is unnecessarily unflattering.

    Even the cover art fuels my growing suspicions: the character in question is of course the one wearing the blue overalls.

    ~ S.

  968. Happy Late Mother’s Day to all the mommies.
    I spent the entire day yesterday engrossed in Change me into Zeus’s Daughter…really good, but it seems to be the same story as The Glass Castle, yes?

  969. I LOVE Richard Scarry books!

  970. Sarah! Ha!
    Hi Amy!
    Sleep sweetly, Sher Bear …
    Jodi, great to see you. Go get’em on the cleanout. I get into that mode sometimes, and it snowballs until I am getting rid of wedding ring, children … (exaggerating of course!)

    Jenny – Do you know about the Yahoo group where you can see what we all look like?

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenblogbabies/

    You need a yahoo account, but that’s easy. Post some pix of your own if you want, so we can know our new Baby better.
    Lunch break. Later!

  971. Amy: haven’t read Change Me Into…is it as interesting as The Glass Castle? I know Mother Delonda didn’t care for TGC but at least it didn’t make me feel icky like A Million Little Pieces. Brenda: the resilience was fascinating but I also think many of us here have lived that reality (albeit the situation may not have been as dire). Even as a child you rise to the occasion because you just have to.

    Jodi: Bravo! I’d love to do a major clean-out starting with the garage that vexes my husband daily. But instead, I catch up on this blog! : )

    Jenny: warm wishes for you and your baby’s well-being. Pregnancy yoga did wonders for me–it helped me to calm down and focus good thoughts towards the baby. To echo the others, we are never judged here–unless you have a mean spirit and attack anyone–but that does not seem likely!

  972. Of the Advices:

    ~ S.

  973. Vanessa~
    Hi! So, Zeus’s Daughter is just as interesting as Glass Castle, and just as depressing. I like them both but they really bum me out:)
    It literally could be the same childhood that these women write of.

  974. “Even as a child you rise to the occasion because you just have to.”

    Oh, Vanessa. This put chills on my neck. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    It reminds me of Something Rising, where Haven wrote that as a young child, Cassie would have to learn to look away.

    I’m paraphrasing, but that line always makes me tear up because it is so true (and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that book)…and then we pay for that desolation as adults.

  975. Maybe I’ll wait to pick up another one of those. It sounds interesting–thanks for the heads-up.

    I’ve spent the last two hours reading the blog…that will show me to take a week off.

    I just have to say to George: SO glad you quit smoking! You go, George…you can do it. I can’t imagine how hard it is but know we are rooting for you. And the Oh Henry? That will make me laugh all day.

    Sarah: I do wonder about the people who call Dr. Laura. You can predict what she’ll say…”So I’ve lived with my boyfriend for 9 years and he still won’t marry me after several ultimatums. What should I do, Dr. Laura?” Then she lets them have it. Blech.

    I really must do at least one thing for my house today. Really.

  976. In thanks to the Blog Babies.

    Some things have changed for me over the past year, particular while being ‘on blog’

    Like, Maureen, I had been feeling fairly isolated intellectually. Not so much artistically because I did have those acquaintances. I have several versions of me . . . and there is this friendly side that is welcoming to others, but I still restrain my own heart.

    I’ve found that, while here, I have been able to let it all hang out. There have been some rough spots where/when I didn’t feel welcome by several individuals, but as a GROUP and as an ENTITY OF ITS own, this HAVEN which HAVEN has created – I feel shelter and accepted. Not only that I feel encouraged to be even more of me.

    So, with tears of joy and unbelievable gratitude.

    Thank you. My soul is no longer lonely.

  977. Aww, Sher. You are adored here, and for good reason.

    I have a compliment for you, and for Haven, and for the rest of the Babies which comes straight from my heart but will require some explanation.

    I worked for several years at an inpatient unit for elderly patients with organic brain problems and some sort of behavioral disturbance. This sounds depressing but was not, since the patients were invariably admitted for being cheerfully and delightfully inappropriate. I have many stories, with which I will regale you in the coming months.

    In this particular instance, one of my patients was a wonderful, bright woman with Wernicke’s aphasia, in which a person speaks word-salad but is unaware and hence untroubled by it. The patient’s name was Mary, and we’d have conversations like: (Me): “My goodness, Mary, you’re all bandaged up! What happened to your arm?” (Mary): “Badgers.” Mary was admitted for cheerfully socking anyone who irritated her in the slightest, after which she would immediately forgive them and wonder what the trouble was.

    One day she caught me in the hallway, and we sat down to chat a little bit. In the middle of our rather odd conversation, she leaned over, patted my knee, and gave my arm a fond squeeze, saying, “Honey, you’ve got LONG feet on MY butt!,” by which I am sure she meant to say that I was OK in her book.

    So Sher, and Haven, and Blog Babies all, please know know that you have long feet on my butt in spades.

    And now, like Vanessa, I must go be productive in the world. Be well.

  978. http://search.live.com/video/results.aspx?q=i+am+one+voice&first=1&docid=723918782802&mid=E3D1C67BEE45662773B3E3D1C67BEE45662773B3&FORM=VIVR

    Here are the lyrics:
    I Am One Voice – Don Eaton

    I am one voice, I am singing
    I am one voice, I am singing
    I am one voice, I am singing,
    I am not alone.

    We are ten voices, we are singing
    We are ten voices, we are singing
    We are ten voices, we are singing
    We are not alone

    We’re a hundred voices…

    We’re a thousand voices…

    We’re a million voices…

  979. now it won’t imbed the visual link . . . sorry!