Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Friend Visited

An old friend came to visit today. 

We see one another maybe twice a year. 

Usually all meetings take place in my living room. 

Is it rude that I watch television while we visit?

I don't think it's an issue.

I get an occasional hiss out of my friend. 

Really, I do all of the talking in this relationship. 

I apologize for not getting together more often. 

I tell my friend that I really, REALLY do enjoy our visits. 

And wonder why we don't get together on a more regular basis?

I make excuses for my wrinkled appearance. 

I am met with silence. 

My husband will be excited by my encounter today. 

He won't have to wear a sweater over his button-up oxfords. 

That cover up his wrinkled seams and collars. 

I ironed today. 

See you in 6 months Sunbeam Steamer. 

It was a good morning for us. 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Adoption

We live in a town with a lake.
A man made lake. 
A 2,800 acre reservoir that hosts boats, bluegill fish, turtles, migrating pelicans, an occasional dead body, and geese. 
Canada geese migrate and overwinter in many cities throughout the U.S.  
And any town with a large area of water really draws them in. 
I don't even think these geese ever leave. 
Why go anywhere when the weather is moderate, there's food, there's a place to lay eggs and raise babies, a place to meet new friends. 
Friends who become family. 


I drive down Baltimore Road to get to the grocery store. 
To get to the farm store where I buy horse feed, baby chicks, and bulk candy. 
Every farm store I've ever been in has tons of bulk candy. 
It's the only place I know to go to to buy those puffy, gross, orange circus peanuts. 
That stick to the roof of your mouth and then you think...why in the hell did I buy these?
Why is that?
Wait...I'm on a tangent.
Back to the geese. 

So, for years I've driven down Baltimore Road and I've driven by the southeastern section of our lake. 
Past a parking lot for people to stop at when they want to fish. 
It's a beautiful area. 
Full of bulrushes and the occasional heron. 
And the geese are there. 
Everywhere. 
I'm sure I've been driving past the same geese for almost a decade. 
How do I know this?
Because of this goose. 


Who is NOT a Canada Goose.  
But a snow goose. 
I think. 
I'm not 100% sure. 
But I know it's not a Canada Goose. 
And he's (guessing on that one, too!) been with this group for as long as I can remember myself driving to the farm store down Baltimore Road. 
He comes and goes. 
But this grassy area that begins at a parking lot near the lake has become his home. 
And these Canada Geese have become his family. 
I don't know if it breeds with the others. 
There are baby geese every year strutting behind the parents in the grass by the parking lot. 
But none grow up to look like this goose. 


They've adopted this pale goose. 
The pale goose with the bright orange beak. 
We look for him every time we drive by. 
And when we spot him someone yells out "SNOW GOOSE!"
We love this oddball. 
This goose who sticks out like a sore thumb. 
This burst of light amongst all of the dark feathers. 
I'm sad when he's not there if I drive by. 
I always think, "Oh he must be out on the lake, paddling around with his family."
I hope he sticks around for many years to come. 
Because we've adopted him, too.



Monday, January 12, 2015

The Boobs

Do you ever see something and you're so dumbstruck that you become speechless?
And you should probably say something about what you're seeing, but you can't?
You can't because you can't stop staring. 
And then you can't say anything because you're trying not to look at what you were just staring at. 

Boobs. 
I was staring at boobs today. 
Inappropriate boobs. 
In the school gym. 
And, let me tell you, I wasn't the only one staring. 
Lots of short people had a great view of the boobs. 
Which was when I had to look away. 
All of the little sets of eyes staring. 
Just staring. 
Staring.
Staring.
Staring.
At the boobs. 
Of my co-worker.
A sub. 
Did she not get a dress code review?
Oh wait, there's not one. 
But there is this...
common sense. 
You are employed to watch 5-8 year old children. 
In a gym. 
A small gym. 
And yes, it can get hot in the gym. 

But common sense states this...
-when your internal body temperature exceeds a comfortable level, do not, I REPEAT, do not remove your work appropriate cute, glitzy-embroidered hoodie sweatshirt to reveal your spaghetti-strap tank top that is barely covering your hot pink push-up bra.-

Because I will stare at your boobs. 
And the kids will stare at your boobs. 
And a few kids will ask me "why is she wearing that?"
And I'll have to shrug my shoulders and quietly say "I have no idea."
When a 6 year old knows what is and what isn't appropriate to wear at recess I do have hope for the future.
The present...I'm not too sure. 

And don't judge me for staring. 
They were good lookin' boobs. 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Of My Layers

An internet friend of mine, Glenn, wrote a blog post recently about his life right after high school.
It was quite fascinating. 
It was also fascinating to see a layer of his past. 
And I made a comment about his post and his story that suggested that I needed to get out more. 
Because, I do. 
But it got me thinking about my own layers. 
And my own story. 

Right now I am settling into my current layer. 
The parental layer. 
Where my days consist of doctor appointments, underwear on the bathroom floor, homework, and sibling fist fights. 
But I have a past. 
And, in comparison to some people, it may seem very dull. 
But, it may not. 
It's mine. 
And I'll share a piece of it. 

When I was a sophomore in college I heard something. 
I heard that the theatre department was looking for dancers for a play. 

Hey!
I was a dancer!

I was a commercial studio dance major. 
Don't ask me what that means. 
Okay, I'll tell you. 
It means...dancer. 

So, I wandered over to the theatre department at Illinois State University to see what was what. 
They needed six girls to dance en pointe for a mainstage production by a guest director. 
Cool!
Sign me up!

I don't remember the details of the audition. 
But I got the part.
And what a part it was. 
The play was titled "White Boned Demon."
The story was multi-layered.  
Are you ready for this?
It's a doozey. 

Mao Zedong. 
His wife. 
Ibsen. 
The Gang of Four. 
Huh?

Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing, was a famous actress in Shanghai before she married Mao. 
Her favorite role had been of Nora in Ibsen's play "The Doll House."
The play "White Boned Demon" focused on her trial in the 1970s and her memories of her past in the theatre.  

Essentially, it was a play within a play.
And I was to play a Chinese Communist soldier. 
Who danced en pointe. 
Oh!
And I got to swing across the stage on a rope during a fight scene!
Which was totally cool until that day that the rope broke and I crashed to the floor in a heap. 
It was all good because it was only during rehearsal. 
And the only thing that got hurt was the sole of my foot. 

Pointe shoes have a piece of wood that runs along the sole of the shoe.
But it doesn't go to the end of the shoe. 
To the heel end. 
It stops a few inches before the end of the heel. 
Once that rope broke, I fell from about 10 feet up and landed with a very hard piece of wood shoved into the fleshy part of my heel. 
I remember it was about 10 feet up because to get ahold of the rope I had to scale the rigging on the side of the stage midway through the last scene of the show. 
All of my weight landed on one foot, so that foot took the brunt of my weight. 
Which was NOT how much I weigh now. 
Instead it was a nice, light 112 pounds. 

I have always had a high threshold for pain. 
I was back up on that rope the next day. 
And the next day.
And the next day. 
And I swung on that rope all the way to a stage at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Illinois State University's production of "White Boned Demon" was selected to perform at the American College Theatre Festival in the spring of 1991. 

And the rope didn't break the night we performed. 

And I added another layer to myself. 

Another layer to my story...



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Goat Danglies

When we got our goats they were 6 months old. 


And goats are considered livestock here, so they had a tag in their ear. 


An IL Dept of Agriculture tag with a number. 


And we were told "Do Not Take The Tag Out!  Ever!" 


So, I took it out. 


About 6 months later anyway. 


And Tulip and Yogurt have these holes in their left ears. 


That you can see through to the other side. 


I've thought about adding an adornment. 


But, would they eat the pretties off of one another?


Probably. 


Or would it get stuck on the fence?


That would be a nightmare. 


I'm a modern hobby farmer really. 


My chicken nesting boxes have curtains. 


I play classical music and NPR in my barn on an old stereo. 


And I'm thinking of starting a goat earring line. 


Goat Danglies. 


Wait. 


That's kind of what happens to their poo when it comes out. 


Bad name. 


I'll keep thinking...



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Year Ending

It's the last day of the year. 
It's the day that you are supposed to reflect on the ups and downs of the last 364 days. 

Well, I still didn't exercise like I should have. 
And I did eat more than was necessary. 
But, I have begun drinking more water. 
That's a plus, right?

My kids got a year older. 
And so did I. 
But I managed to keep up with them on an eight day trip to Disney World. 
This mama can ride coasters till the cows come home. 


Speaking of cows, I have bought and cooked more beef this year than I have ever in my life. 
Nothing fancy like T-bone steaks. 
Are T-bone steaks fancy?
I don't know. 
But I know I have loved eating beefy nachos for dinner. 

I got a job this year. 
The first one since Zoe was born nine years ago. 
And Zoe has had a great year with less medical issues. 
Chemo is done and she's just had blood draws. 
Her hair is long and dark and she won't cut it. 


Gigi had a year of firsts. 
She began kindergarten. 
She's very bright and loves to learn. 
She struggles almost daily with anxiety, though. 
She began playing the piano with lessons at Millikin University with Professor Sam. 


She flew on an airplane for the first time. 
She said next time, she wants to drive to Florida. 
She wasn't a fan of high altitude ear popping. 
She went to sleepover summer camp with Zoe in July. 
A week away from mom and dad at a camp full of kids who have had cancer, who are currently in treatment, or who (like herself) are a sibling of a childhood cancer patient. 


Our car didn't fall apart. 
That's always a plus. 

We got chickens. 
Eight chicks were brought home from the farm supply store in the spring. 
One turned out to be an asshole rooster. 
He became dinner. 
Another drowned in the water trough. 
So, we have six gals who give us fresh eggs everyday. 
They are out in the pasture and yard eating all sorts of great things. 
Their egg yolks are amazingly neon yellow. 
It's like a sunburst in each shell that's opened. 


We had a duckling for about a week.
He was found by my niece and nephew in a car dealership parking lot. 
He was the sweetest thing and I don't really know if it was a he instead of a she.
The girls named it Rutiger. 
Gigi kicked him when they were playing with him outside. 
He died instantly. 
It was the saddest thing to see these sisters go through. 
Gigi running to me while scream crying "I KILLED RUTIGER!" 
He was a good duck. 


We spent quite a bit of time at The Field Museum in Chicago. 
My parents gave us a membership for Christmas 2013. 
Zoe loves anything Egyptian and Gigi loves the stuffed animals from all over the globe. 
This Christmas my parents bought us a Shedd Aquarium membership. 
We are heading there tomorrow to see the amazing water creatures it houses. 
We haven't been inside it's walls in 7 years. 


2015 should be just a regular year for us. 
Fingers crossed that cancer stays away. 
And that we can venture to see some Panda Bears as Gigi is obsessed with them. 
She wanted one for Christmas and asked Santa for a baby panda. 
She didn't seem deterred when I told her we didn't have any bamboo and that we would have to ask China first. 

Happy New Year to you!
May it be a generous, relaxing, adventurous, fulfilling year!



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Saturated Love

It feels like early Spring outside today. 
Not the day before Christmas Eve. 
It's a mud-filled mess in our barnyard. 
I prefer frozen solid ground in December. 
We ventured outside this morning to relish in this warm day. 
It's supposed to snow tomorrow. 
Which is what should be happening. 
There's a golden hue to the light today. 
I can't quite put my finger on it. 
After every picture I took I was saying "huh, what's this all about?"
I checked to make sure some filter wasn't on on my phone. 
I use my iPhone to take pictures. 
Can't ya tell?
But there was no filter set. 
This is just the light today. 
It's as if the earth is lit from the ground up. 
Everything is saturated in color.
Which I love. 
Maybe everything is saturated in love. 
Yeah, that's it. 
A saturation of love. 
Merry Christmas.