Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 Things I Love About My Mommy ( Guest Post by Lola Moon )

Number One  My mommy is funny. And random.

Number Two  My mom laughs at all my jokes even if they aren't funny.

Number Three  She is loving supporting and always there for me.

Number Four  She's very helpful. She helps with homework and dealing with my life.

Number Five  My mom is really trendy. ( I am? )  I borrow her shirts.

Number Six  Mommy doesn't pressure me into doing things.  She doesn't pressure me on tests just supports me and tells me to work hard and relax.

Number Seven  She's very creative.  Like the games we play, like making up a row row boat game where we hold hands and press our feet together and go back and forth and sing Row Row Your Boat.

Number Eight  She is an AWESOME WRITER.  ( emphasis hers! )She's good at making poems too.

Number Nine  She always makes time for me.

Number Ten  She tells me all the time she loves me more than anything in the world. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bates Nut Farm, California

Welcome to Bates Nut Farm, 1,000,000 degrees
Ancient Chinese Beard of Cotton Candy
Ever waved her little hand off at all the animals
This guy had a crush on me. His Flock Of Seagulls hair had me on my knees.
Did I mention it was a bagillion degrees? Lacking a back up outfit, we slathered ee in sunscreen and took half her outfit off. I felt so bad for all the children in big hot furry costumes.
Lola did spin art and made a frisbee
The key to getting good family photos: Ask a flamingly gay man to take them.
Ever's little witchy hair clip sat jauntily as she explored the pumpkins
Lola couldn't find us, and she did what I've always taught her- found a woman with children and asked her help. Good job Lo!
Mr. Curry carries Lola's pumkin pick back to our truck. And it was two bagillion degrees by this time. All in all it was an awesome day. Lola had burgers, sprite, cotton candy AND ice cream, and didn't barf. The boys were sweet and fun and did not spend the whole time moaning or being too cool to hang. Ever was blissed out and talked to her balloon as she decided if it was more fun to hold it in her little sweaty hand or let it go. She held on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10 Things I Love About Lola Moon

She cuts her shirts up and makes leg warmers and gloves

Her last haircut was a gigantic FAIL ( in her mind, I love it ) and so she now wears a black beret ( the very one pictured above ) every single day every single second.
She sings in the shower, like full on American Idol busting out trills and deep growls and high notes. Example from today Oh love, everyone neeeeeeds ( think windows shattering ) love baby, you and I must work this OUT OH BABY ( think angry bull moose )
She went from Ever to Everkins to Kins and now calls our baby Kenny. Yes, the same name as some undead kid on South Park.

She believes in the power of a booty shakin dance to raise the spirits.

I have never heard her talk badly about anyone, except to say that a girl was not nice to her specifically. She doesn't gossip and she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

She takes a musical theatre class once a week and is killin it. Making friends and having so much fun.
She gets giddy over decorations, and is completely crafty in a way I have never been and never will be. She made awesome Halloween decorations out of thin air. Think a glass full of weird objects used red marker to bleed into the water and make it red, then wrote DRINK ME on the outside. Think plastic lizards she cut in half and lay on a tray with red ketchup in between. Think fake fingernails in front of our fake gravestones outside, and ghosts made of tissue. She's crafty / she's what I like / She's crafty / And she's just my type ( Beastie Boys, anyone? )

She's a girl, with a girlish heart and girlish observations. By that, I mean that as my first girl, Lola has shocked me this last year with her evenly and matter of factly laid out observations on my behavior and life. Daughters observe you in a way that sons do not, they see the inner workings of your heart and objects and motivations. Daughters SEE YOU. When I was pregnant, Lola was the first one to ask how I was feeling, and had the baby moved that day, and to remark how tired I must be after taking care of kids all day. The other day she told me that although I had been snappy ( I had just apologized ) she totally understood because things with Dakota are hard right now, and she knows your heart is hurting, Momma. He's your son, and you took care of him like you do Ever, and you love him and of course you are missing him like crazy right now. That's part of what makes you such a good Momma, you love us all the way.

All the way, Lola.

She still sneeze farts. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Downsizing: Could My Family Move Into a Small Space & Be Happy?

Alexandre Bailhache
Six years ago, my husband Logan and I, lived a normal middle class lifestyle. We were newlyweds with flashy rings living in a two-bedroom apartment, driving two cars, commuting long distances to work and living well beyond our means. At this time, we were living in Davis, California, which is notorious for expensive real estate and a negative vacancy rating. We were living a life with too much stuff and stress.
Initially, we resisted the idea of moving into a smaller one-bedroom apartment because we were more concerned about appearances and space for guests than for our financial well-being. We decided something needed to change once we realized our debt was causing us so much stress. This change began by defining our values and prioritizing our needs versus wants. *bold my addition
This is the opening quote on Rowdy Kittens page 'Our Downsizing Story', This kick ass, smart and quirky couple moved to a smaller space and eventually became enthralled with the Tiny House movement. Now they are building their own tiny house, due to be done next month.

Mr. Curry and I live in a four bedroom house with four bedrooms ( two master bedrooms, one is connected off the kitchen area and was a remodel, both have their own bathrooms ) a ridiculously large and badly planned use of space next to the kitchen ( tiled floor and off side of house, we spend next to no time there ) a living room and a large sunroom attached to the living room. We could easily afford this house when we moved in, and Mr. Curry's business was thriving. Before it all collapsed. The last year we have turned a conversation that was at first a joke into a more serious and pressing discussion: Would be we happier living in a smaller, more affordable space? We barely make it, and when something difficult happens, we don't make it. For instance, right now.

Our roomate moved out ( snuck out like a teenager out the window ) and shafted us the entire month's rent she owed. Then we had to pay registration for the car, with late fees. Then, then, then. I won't bore you with the details, but we are fucked right now. And being fucked before the holidays, when you have four kids, can get a girl thinking. I'm thinking: there has to be a better way.
So we are talking about trying small space living. If we hate it, it will be temporary. If we like it, we can do it for a year or two and be much, much more financially secure, save money, and maybe live more. Spring for the bigger pumpkin in the patch. Travel with the kids. Be able to help out others financially when we want to so badly.
It's complicated as far as the space. We're thinking things like: Are we insane? What about the dogs? What about the boys? ( D. is currently living with my Mom, ten minutes from our house, as you all know, and I'm not sure what is going to happen with that, I'm being very cautious, slow and careful as we move forward and make decisions, and right now D. is doing well - Ian we have two overnights Fri and Sat and he leaves later Sunday ) How would we delegate the space? Mom/Dad/Ever, Lola/Dakota/Ian another room with a pull out couch in the living room, which considering the ratio of days Ian is here and the unsure nature of where D. will be at any point (here or moms) ... and are we insane?

Also thinking things like: We've done this before and we were really happy. We are the kind of family who is all up in each other's business. Mr. Curry is my best friend and I never get tired of him until I CAN'T STAND HIM FOR ONE MORE MINUTE ( when we are fighting ) and then what would I do? It is exciting! It's an adventure! We could really do some awesome things with the extra money, like breathe. And buy a new bra for me. And if Lola needs braces... And Lola is totally up for it, she says it would be awesome, and Ian would be because Ian is awesome like that and a trooper and can adapt to almost anything, and I haven't talked to D. yet so I have no idea what he'd think. And Ever? Would follow my breasts anywhere. Same with my husband. I'm almost finished with my novel ( STOP LAUGHING! I REALLY AM! ) and this could be an amazing opportunity to freaking relax about work and focus more on my writing career and finishing and editing and sending out my novel. I'm used to writing around babies crying, kids playing, my husband cooking. I write from my bedroom with the baby pattering around and Lola in and out.

We could downsize and still live in the same area, and the kids stay in their same schools.

Here's a family of three who were entrenched in the appearance of the American Dream. The theme of a family's actual needs and desires versus what they feel is socially expected of them is again reflected in Debra's words:
Speaking about making the move, Debra said: 'It was not a simple idea, this of scaling down. It was even more difficult to execute, and required mountains of courage, and truckloads of patience.
'I was worried about what my family would think, so after making the decision to downsize, I decided I didn't want to tell them. It's just not what people do. They don't live in 320 square foot homes.
Fascinating Links of the Small Space Movement*
This article about families fitting themselves into small spaces, the manager of Apartment Therapy talks about fitting his own family of five into a small space A fellow blogger moved her own family of six from a large home into a three bedroom bungalow This woman moved into a Tiny House, Here is an awesome slideshow of some very small apartments making a very big impact This contest for Cool Small Spaces is inspirational as far as making the 'stuff' work, but what concerns me more is making the 'us' work- how to keep a diverse age of people happy in a small space? Readers, what do you think? Any experience with this? Downsizing? Small spaces? :)

* I just made that label up. As far as I know.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

People In Your Neighborhood: Swonderland

In my last post I said this: I think of the power and assuredness of the parenting of small children. I think of the insecurity and doubt and helplessness of parenting teenagers

And in her newest post, Erin says something very similar, and a lot more. I love this post. It's the kind of truth telling I look for every day online.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Have Mercy

All around me there are the endings of life. A small conversation with Lola, in the cup of sun on the patio, explaining the Buddhist story of the tree that loses a leaf, the leaf falls to the base of the tree. Slowly, dirt absorbs the leaf and it's properties until it is 'gone'. The tree absorbs the soil, and so the leaf becomes part of the tree again. It's a simple, simple story that is an enduring comfort for me. I think of it, turn it over in my mind during fear, like a wishing stone. I imagine the unknowing peace of a leaf. The unconscious death and life and death and life. I think of my Grandmother Elizabeth, Ever Elizabeth's namesake, buried ten minutes from here, in a small rolling hill next to trees and a horse farm. All the leaves that fall onto her grave, and my Grandfather next to her. I think of ' energy does not die '. I run my fingers over Mr. Curry's stubble, watch his eyes flicker behind the lashes as he watches T.V. The light from his eyes, where will that be? Ever's tiny body, the ridiculous miniature of the anklet of a ten month old baby. The shooter in the hair salon, eight dead. The sweet eyed Jack of Charlotte's Inch Of Grey blog, drowned weeks ago in the rushing darkness of a storm down the street from his home. Twelve years old. I think of my mom's brother David, my Uncle, drowned in the nearby lake at fourteen years old, long before I had ever been born or imagined. I think of my oldest son, his intelligent, tender and prideful spirit, the incredible plunging into my heart that happened when he was born, the immersion like a baptism, eternal. I pray for him because at seventeen there are not so many object forces and subtle guidances anymore. I pray for myself because I feel so weak inside. So tired. So scared. I feel so inadequate to the job I myself took on! Mothering these four children. I think of ' took the wind out of her sails ' and sigh, a long motherly sigh, deep inside the dark quiet of my slumbering kitchen, where only the cold noses of my dogs rest on my lap or hear me cry. I think of ' warrior spirit ' and ' women who run with the wolves ' and rise in the morning like it is every other morning and not like my heart is trembling in my hands like a rabbit's heart, cut out after the arrow made it's mark. I think of Kate McRae and her mother, always her mother, waiting for the next set of MRI results that will show her the tumor in her daughter's small brain, and how it has or has not grown. I think of the power and assuredness of the parenting of small children. I think of the insecurity and doubt and helplessness of parenting teenagers. I hear Lola saying ' Momma you are the best Momma in the world. There is no one like you in all my friends moms, and I never want you to be like them, or anyone else. You are my strong and loving Momma. You make everything possible. ' And I hear my oldest son telling me these same things, not so many years ago, who is now both strangely closer to me and further away than ever before. I think of Caroline and the depth and spirit and strength I feel whenever she speaks of mothering, and how comforting that is to me. How comforting is real. How comforting is honest life and love from another. How comforting to know we are not alone. I think of the leaves on my Grandmother's grave, the hands of my daughters on my knee at night, the faces of my sons, the spirit of my husband with me in the dark. I think of prayers, of churches at nighttime, of knotholes in trees, of leaves on mountainsides, of the rain, I think of the first time I held my firstborn, and I am weak in the knees and the heart. I think of the first time I held my lastborn, and I am strong. All around me are the beginnings of life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Abide With Her: Stacey Connor Writes

My blogger friend Stacey has always been one of my favorite writing voices online. She's honest- you can feel the weight of it, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes hilarious, sometimes inspiring, always good- in her posts, and she's terrifically intelligent (used to be a lawy-yah *as we say in the South) as well as the mother of four children. I feel very lucky that she wrote on her blog Is There Anymommy Out There about the e-book that I contributed to- Welcome To My World- as well as including some of her own story as a work at home mom who eventually became a stay at home mom. I hope you take a look at her blog. You won't leave without bookmarking her.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Day, The Place, The Time

Driving in Julian, coming back from the cold mountain gold mines and their ghosts, our car full of family was motioned to the right by a policeman with a flash light. We banked right and followed the other cars moved off the road, drove up and through winding stretches until delivered back onto the main road. Mr. Curry driving. I craned my neck around, stretched to see, and saw. A body, lying in the middle of the road, covered in yellow tarp. I turned back quickly, met Mr. Curry's eyes. Lola, ever vigilant of the slightest change of atmosphere, peered at me. What is is, Mom? I replied A car accident, sweetie. That's all. That is all. A body in the middle of the road. A cop so shaken up that he screamed angrily at a woman driver, near tears as she maneuvered her car from it's accidental wrong turn, back to the path. I watched the breeze blow gustily over scattered weeds on the dirt parking lot to our right. I looked up at the sky, the brightness and boldness of the sun. Heard the shouts of happy tourists visiting the town of apple pie. Listened to Lola humming and Ever babbling and Ian talking quietly to Mr. Curry. The hot seat of the car on my back. The warm cotton squeeze of socks against my soles. The smell of mountain air. The feel of cold air and hot sun blowsing across my arms and face in a prickling pleasure, the feel of my hair against my ears. The dry skin of my top puckered lip. The pressing of jeans into my stomach. The weight of my breasts against shirt, ready to nurse my baby. The clamor of a flock of birds over our heads as we left the car. This is the day and place and time that a man's life ended, just now, I thought. And I get to go on living.

I keep thinking about that.

Case Number: 11-02174
Name: Rogelio Malihan City of Residence: San Diego
DOB: 02/07/1958 Gender: Male
Place of Death: 2900 block of SR 79, Julian CA Place of injury: 2900 block of SR 79, Julian CA
Date/Time of Death: 10/8/2011 12:16:00 PM Date/Time injury: 10/08/2011 1150
Summary: The decedent a 53-year-old Asian male who resided in a home with his wife and son in the city of San Diego. On 10/08/11, the decedent was riding his motorcycle southbound on the SR 79 along with his son and close friend. The lead bike stopped due to traffic and the decedent had to slam on his breaks and went down, ejecting him into the northbound lane of the highway. Motorcyclist traveling northbound, tried to avoid him but he was struck by one of the motorcyclist. 911 was called and police responded to the location along with medics. Upon arrival, the decedent was found pulseless and apneic with severe trauma. Advanced cardiac life support was initiated but to no avail and death was pronounced. This office was notified and the section of the highway was closed and the scene secured pending my arrival. The examination will be tentatively scheduled for 10/09/11.
Cause of Death/Updated Cause of Death: Blunt force head and chest injuries
Contributing Conditions: None
Manner: Accident
Investigating Agency: CHP - El Cajon Next of kin notified? Yes

I've Got A Crush On: Hanna

Ian, Mr. Curry and I watched this last Friday night
The End

Sunday, October 9, 2011

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