Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bring it on, Zombie Freaks!

As many of you know, I've been waiting for the zombie apocalypse to begin for some time now. Mountain Man has the required amount of guns, ammo and a prime spot all picked out from which to shoot the zombies should they attack.

Of course, I don't exactly know HOW many guns or how MUCH ammo that would be, but apparently, it's enough to take out the majority of the population of this small town if everyone turns into a zombie during the night, (except us) like I'm fully expecting them too.

I've done my due diligence too and stocked up on Diet Coke and organic-slave free chocolate to eat while we wait out the storm. The kids have been practicing their bike jousting (riding a bike while holding a spear to impale zombies on) and they feel adequately prepared should the unthinkable occur.

I, for one, think the Zombie Apocalypse has already begun. But before you start laughing and delete me from your blogroll, think about this: If this current election season has taught us anything, it's that zombies run the world, or are trying to. Zombies also run all forms of media, own McDonald's (ever eaten a chicken nugget? Braaaaaaaaains, friend, braaaaaaaains--) and are the freaks who charge so stinking much for an herbal tea at Starbucks.

I also believe there are a couple of zombie teachers at my kid's schools, and I'm pretty sure that Mountain Man's former employer was one as well.

Maybe it's just Halloween, and I'm feeling all spoooooooooooooky, but look around, you might see a couple in your neighborhood too.

So bring it on, zombie freaks!!!
And ...
Happy Halloween!


I find it best to be dressed in costume while fighting zombies...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Joyful Bloom Out of Uncertainty

Life is just a series of uncertain events. Some are unfortunate, some are joyful.

Six weeks ago, Mountain Man walked away from his dream job.
In this economy some would call him crazy.

I didn't.

We thought we'd be here until he retired in oh...about eighty-seven-thousand-years.... or whenever he turned 65. 
It didn't really occur to us that we would move again; and we certainly didn't want to move our kids one more time. Because well, it just plain sucks being the new kid at school...and it sucks to leave friends...and it sucks to start over and have to figure out how to navigate making it to the bathroom in the middle of the night in a new house.  

To be honest, I'm just not that evolved, so for me, change usually sucks.

Wrapping my mind around this change has been ugly...and...beautiful.
Sometimes events that begin as ugly little seeds of uncertainty evolve into joyful blooms.

I'm hoping that is what is on the way to our Square Toothed/Mountain Man Clan, a  
b i g   f a t   v a s e  of joyful blooms, with a card from God that says, "You made it! Well done! Careful of the door jamb on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!"

.....but I don't know if He sends flowers. 
It would be nice though.

So everyday, I wake up...and hope.

Some moments I feel completely self assured. 
Others...Not. 
                     So.
                           Much.

Some days, I can see the series of unfortunate events that led our family to this period of uncertainty and change as a path hammered out with good intentions and sadness overcomes me. 

Other days I think, "I will just stand back and allow this journey to unfold." 
On these days I repeat to myself, "I refuse to own any stress in this situation. All things have led us to this point. Everything happens for a reason." 

I feel better on those days. 

And on those days, tender mercies, like newly sprouted joyful blooms, poke their little heads up out of the soil of uncertainty. 

For instance, recently a flood of lovely, courageous, compassionate and brilliant new friends have showed up to hold lanterns of hope and encouragement along the path. There have been texts, a meal brought to our door, and most tenderly, tears that escaped closed eyes as one friend contemplated what had been lost.

Up until that moment I hadn't really allowed myself to face the reality.
I was scared that alllllllll my emotions would overcome me, and I would be left tossed and turned like drift wood in the tide.
But those tears, shed by another's eyes, allowed me to face the trauma.
And you know what? 

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 
I found that because it was spread between the two of us, I could carry it. 

What an unimaginable gift those tears were amid this uncertainty and change...

...water enough for a joyful bloom to sprout right before my eyes. 




How do you find joyful blooms out of uncertainty?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Things Come Together and Then They Fall Apart

We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together again and fall apart again.  Its just like that.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen:  room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
~Pema Chodron
I love this quote by Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron. I love it more today because this afternoon, a dear dear friend drove away with her family to Brooklyn, New York. For a short and cherished season, our friends, Mr. & Mrs. Marcus, graced us with their love, laughter, wisdom and joy and now life takes them onto the next chapter. 

In the wake of their absence, I've already felt the misery and grief. Yet, I also know that in the coming days there will be relief and even joy. Joy to hear of their adventures, and also joy in the realization that we were all able to be together during this brief and beautiful season. 

So, *raised glass* here's to coming together and falling apart, and allowing it all to happen...here's to living. 


Me and Mrs. Marcus. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beautifully Imperfect

I am a firm believer in swearing.

As a somewhat unorthodox Mormon woman, I can fully and wholeheartedly admit without shame or guilt that I was raised by at least one pirate and one of the things that he passed onto me was an ability to let loose when occasion arises.

I am not afraid to admit this, because I am truly, utterly and hopelessly flawed, but I'm stitched together with good intentions. And to be honest, sometimes, there's just no other word.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not about gratuitous swearing, or cussing just to say words "you shouldn't say" but every once in a while, like when you drop something on your foot, or fall off a horse, or get fired, or the zombies start their attack, a nice, juicy, ripe swear word seems appropriate.

I know that there will be many of you who COMPLETELY disagree.You may think that I'm a "bad example", "rude", "crass"--whatever, and that's o.k--because one of the other gifts my goodly parents gave me was to not really give a flying fart in space what other people think of me. Because it takes all kinds to make this world we live in a joyous complexity of crazy, which is just another phrase for, "being human."

Take my father-in-law, for example: Just a few nights ago he told me that anyone who works on commission is a "whore of the earth".

My own dad worked on commission his whole damn life. But I didn't mind a bit when my father-in-law said that, because I say CRAZY stuff ALL the time.

Take last week for instance:
It has been recently brought to my attention that Mountain Man doesn't like soup.

I know.
What a freak.
Who doesn't like soup???

After 15 years of marriage and countless soups, NOW he tells me.
Instead of saying, "Oh, that's o.k. we won't eat soup anymore" I said, "If you don't like soup, then you don't like fall. And if you don't like fall, then you don't like winter. If you don't like winter, then you CLEARLY hate Santa, and if you hate Santa, then you hate the Easter Bunny, and if you hate the Easter Bunny then you don't like Jesus."

Really. That's the kind of crazy I spew out.

So Pops, don't call me--I'm not offended in the least (and I just wrote the word "damn" on my blog and pointed out to your son that not liking soup apparently has serious spiritual ramifications.) I also just threw you under the bus on an open blogging forum...I should probably call you to apologize, but your grandson ran down the battery on my phone playing Angry Birds...so don't wait up. Also, there may be a seed of truth in that phrase...and I can say that because I work on commission too.

I also judge people, yell at stupid drivers, and write mean emails that I never send. I also JUST flipped my husband off. Our daughter was in the other room and I could hear her laughing. Mountain Man said "She just flipped me off so loud you could hear it, huh?"

Now don't get me wrong: I believe in doing my best--I really do. And sometimes my "best" is that I didn't lift my fist to someone's face. So if dropping a couple choice words takes the place of throwing an anvil at someone, then I choose the lesser offense.

I've never been one to paste on a smile and pretend that everything's o.k.

To put it simply: I am what I am, wherever I am.

I am like a rough stone in a river, getting tossed and turned by the rapids. As I get thrown about in this life from time to time I scream out, "This @!#&*@ hurts like hell!!"

I am beautifully imperfect.


a beautifully imperfect day...


How are you beautifully imperfect?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letting Go

We are moving.

Moving, I tell you.

Mooooooooooooooooooooooooving. 

Moving.

Quite unexpectedly, and without much warning, we are leaving the lives that we've built here for the last five years and heading west. 

We will be tearing our children from their schools. 
We will be leaving jobs we've loved. 
We will be saying goodbye to our friends (who have become family).

The prospect is horrifying. 

And beyond that horror is only a slightly less horrifying process (but only slightly). The process I'm talking about is the fact that we will have to pack up every stupid thing we own and drag it across the landscape several hundred miles.

Thinking about it makes me want to own less. 

No, strike that--thinking about moving makes me wish that the zombie apocalypse had already begun so my only concern was how much ammo I had. 

But I digress...
Moving makes me want to own less. Mostly because whatever I own has usually ended up owning me. 

Like this house.
"Whipped!" it whispers to me in the middle of the night, as I lie awake, dreaming of empty drawers.

So Saturday, I got rid of half of my worldly possessions.  

It felt amazing. 

It felt like letting go. 

I feel like I've turned a corner, like I can utter the words, "I'm moving" without bursting into tears.

And I also had some fun at the moving sale. 

Here are a few of the signs I put up on various items: 












It was a good way to let go.

P.S. If you know me in "real" life, please don't call me tomorrow asking me when or why we are moving. All I'm at liberty to tell you is that it involves a secret plot with a catapult, Area 51, cattle mutilations, Mitt Romney and Super PACs. If I told you anymore, I'd have to kill you.


"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you have for sure."
 ~Oprah Winfrey

How do you "let go"?