Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just When I Thought All Hope Was Lost

Reasons were there to walk away.
Others would not have understood
Still love grew. Strongly. Silently.
Ever present, even in absence.

Did you hear my heart call you to me?

Just when I thought all hope was lost?
Somehow you knew I needed you.
And so you came, to make my world right.

Rich again, with joy and promise
Am I dreaming? Is this real?
Just when I thought all hope was lost
All I needed was to hear you ask, Do you love me?
Could you not see my heart in my eyes?
Kiss the tears away so you can.
Just when I thought all hope was lost
All you needed was to hear me say, Yes. I do.
Chase my fears away, no longer will we doubt.
Knowing I am. As I have always been. Yours.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Favorite Things

As Julie Andrew's voice lilts through my subconscious...Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..... here are a few of my favorite things:

  • rainstorms, a good book & a cozy bed
  • looking out at the Puget Sound
  • long drives to nowhere in particular
  • time to think
  • drowning in pillows
  • held gazes, slow smiles & silent conversations
  • fingers brushing my hair, whispers in my ear, warm strength against my back
  • hearing "I adore you." from the man I love
  • kisses from my nieces & nephews
  • spending quality time with people who bring meaning to my life
  • reading & writing of life, love and everything in between
  • listening to music that reminds me of where I've been, where I am and where I can be

So much more to add, but this is in essence, me with simple needs, simple wants.

It may sound trite, but when life is a little frustrating and you feel like you're missing something. Or someone. This is what I do. I enumerate my favorite things. Count your blessings if you will. Then my world is right again.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gareth: On Sisters, Star Wars & Speaking

So, I'm in Vancouver again. The other Vancouver. South Van, in WA. We're staying at the Shilo Inn, just 'cross the border from Portland, OR. G has another one of his speaking engagements, this time for Orycon. I'm glad he's found such success with what he does best. Talk about movies. But you'd think all this talking he does professionally tempers his need to talk when he doesn't have a large audience. Like when his audience is primarily me. But nope. But you'd think so, huh?

I don't mind. But there are times when my mind is so overwhelmed by his voice, I can't even hear myself think. My inner voice actually whimpers. That's when I say to him, "Shhhh. Please. Just for a few minutes, okay?" I also have to tell him sometimes, "Babe. You're talking just to hear yourself talk now. Rest."

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh. Most of the time, I enjoy my conversations with Gareth, especially when it's about his family or about him growing up. Like today, as we drove to Portland, I learned a lot about his grandfather and how he views his sisters. He has a great amount of love for them. His grandfather and his sisters. But I knew that about his grandfather. With his sisters, I've often wondered, because more often than not, he's making fun of them or talking about how much they annoy him. But when I asked him how it felt to grow up with 3 half-sisters, he said, "I've never looked at them as my half-sisters. They're my sisters. Period. We may have different fathers, but I only know them as my sisters." I liked that. My respect for him grew when he said that, because that's how my grandmothers viewed their older siblings. They were both the children of a 2nd marriage, but their older half-siblings were just as much their siblings as their whole ones. My respect grew for my mother-in-law as well, because I know she had to instill this knowledge & acceptance within Gareth.

We had a great time at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) where they have an exhibit called "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination." It's the first exhibition of its kind with great displays of Star Wars costumes, models and props from all six episodes. It runs through January 1 for those who are interested. It's a must for Star Wars fans, and for those who live in WA, it's a simple drive down to Portland and it's very easy to find with plenty of helpful signs to OMSI. I'm nowhere as big a Star Wars fan as Gareth, but even I was impressed and excited by all of the displays. The museum itself is a lot of fun to roam, and I can see how it would be a fun day for families with kids.

I didn't go with Gareth to his speaking engagement to Orycon. I wanted to stay in the room and do some homework. I've gone before and it never failed to amaze me how he keeps his audiences' rapt attention by just simply talking about what he knows about upcoming movies. He doesn't have fancy Powerpoint presentations or trailers to watch. He keeps things casual & just talks and fields questions. The conventions always allot him 2 hours and even after 2 hours he's followed out by members of the audience still asking questions.

I remember attending a Creations convention with Gareth, a convention that caters to Star Trek fans, where he followed Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek the Next Generation)on the schedule. I felt bad that he had to follow such a popular figure and as the laughs and applause grew louder for Brent, my concern grew about Gareth's presentation. But I needn't have worried. He drew just as large a crowd and had just as many laughs. And again, most of the audience followed him out after his 2 hours and spent more time asking him questions outside of the auditorium.

He's due back in the hotel room in an hour or so. You'd think he'd be tired of talking after 2 hours or so of doing just that. Nope. So, this is my quiet time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cancer is the sign of the home and family life. A Cancer values his or her family and friends more than anything, and will go to any lengths to nurture and protect them. The Cancer person is the caregiver in any relationship. Cautious and sensitive, a Cancer can be highly moody, and once hurt or betrayed, it can take a long time for the Cancer to crawl back out of its proverbial shell. Known as the money sign, Cancer's also easily attain wealth.
Cancer in a Nutshell

Born: June 21 - July 22
Element: Water - emotional and intuitive
Quality: Cardinal, the quality that signifies change and movement
Symbol: The Crab
Lucky Day: Monday
Lucky Numbers: 3 and 7
Special Color: Pale blue and silver, the colors of the water and the moon
Cancer Traits: Shrewd, sensitive, moody, clingy, loyal, cautious

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Know This Lady

I know this lady. A lady in every sense of the word, and quite a woman to boot. She's not wordly or refined, but she's certainly a lady. She's not overly feminine nor does she exude endless charm, but she's a woman.

She's a bit of a social butterfly. In fact she's in her element when she's entertaining and she's at her most beautiful when she's laughing and joking with friends and family. I've known her all my life, yet she remains a mystery to me. I catch myself staring at her a lot. Sometimes in wonder, most times in amusement and a lot of times in frustration, because just as easily as she can make me laugh with her impish smile, and her sometimes nonsensical thinking, she can make me cry with her harrassed frown and biting anger. Her name is Teresita. Her parents and sibling call her Tessie. Her friends and co-workers call her Terry. I call her Mama.

When I was still single and lived at home, around this time of the year I used to set out to produce a small family newsletter to send out with the Christmas cards. The easiest person to write about was my dad who basically lived in Alaska, working there almost 8 to 10 months of the year. Then there were my three brothers, one was in the Navy having adventure after adventure traveling here and there. The other two were in junior high and high school and it was easy to write about their activities and progress in school. I had my job and school to write about.

My mom was another story though. I knew she deserved more than two lines in the newsletter, but what couild I say in a newsletter? She worked at Western State Hospital as a mental health technician, dealing with the mentally ill eight hours a day, 5 days a week then came home to face the truly demented, her kids.

That's basically what my mom did, and still does, year in and year out. This time, subtract me and my younger brothers from the house, but add two grade-school-aged grandsons and one toddler granddaughter who are dropped off after she gets home from work. On her two days off, she spends the night with her 92 year old mother. It's the truth, but it's not everything.

I believe it would take dozens of newsletters just to put a dent in what my mom does and puts herself through in the name of love, family and pride.

If I still made this newsletter, I would love to write what I see in my mom instead of what she did this year. I'd write that I see a tremendous amount of courage and determination and I'd write that I see an equal amount of fatigue. But I'd add that I only see that fatigue when she's just too tired to hide it.

With my father first in the military and then working in Alaska, my mother virtually reared my brothers and I singlehandedly. I get tired just thinking about what my brothers and I put her through and still continue to put her through, this time via grandchildren. But you know what? She wouldn't have it any other way.

Of me and my brothers, my mother has always been the most honest with me, since I am the one who challenged her ideas and rules. I think my mom and I are as close as we are only because I dared to argue with her and that's something we're both good at. She doesn't hesitate in times of anger and regret to be brutally honest, even to the point of letting me know that taking care of my father and me and my brothers had stood in the way of her getting a college education.

That kind of knowledge can hurt a child and at times it still bothers me, but I learned to admire my mom's honesty in letting me know how she felt. I am sure I would have surprised a lot of my relatives if I put this in the newsletter because what they see of my mom, or better yet, what my mom lets them see is that she's a simple woman, satisfied with what she has.

Maybe she is, in a way, but that's not all that I see. Behind those bright eyes I see intelligence constantly clicking away, a savvy, not simple, mind working to understand and struggling to evercome clumsy pronunciation and semantics of a language not her own.

Satisfied? Maybe, but I see roughened and calloused hands that she constantly compares to mine saying, "My hands used to look like yours, with fingers smooth and white, like candlesticks." I used to look at her hands and see the redness and the chapping and not see the hard work and tireless drive behind them. I see them now. And I think I know why they are that way. For as much as she claims to be happy and satisfied, there remains a relentless drive in her to be better, to have better, for herself and for her family, even as each year passes and the drive takes more out of her than she receives.

I read this plaque once about mean mothers. It said mean mothers teach their children responsibility by making them do chores. Mean mothers teach their children honesty by making them tell the truth. A mean mother teaches her children discipline by making them follow rules. A mean mother makes her children let her know where they'll be at what time, teaching them that she cares. My mother was wonderfully mean, sacrificing to teach my brothers and I about love. She remains wonderfully mean as she shares that love and those lessons with her grandchildren. That's the mother I know and love.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

After a While

by: Veronica A. Schoffstall

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans.
And futures have a way of falling down in midflight.
After a while, you learn
That even the sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure....
That you are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn....
With every goodbye you learn.

Shared by my cousin, Grace 11/16/1999.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm a Writer

I was talking to a good friend the other day about career choices and joking about going back to school to become a massage therapist. My reasoning was, "I'm good with my hands." No innuendo or suggestion meant. I was just throwing it out there. "Or, I could continue taking accounting classes and maybe become an accountant. I'm good with numbers." He, in his ever-supportive way just listened to me ramble. I even verbally contemplated being a professional organizer. "You ever watch HGTV's 'Organize It' and wonder what that professional organizer's house looks like? I bet it's a mess." He just chuckled and said, "You're probably right." After a comfortable silence, during which I imagined organizing my study and suddenly felt exhausted, he said, "But you're a writer. You've always been a writer. Why don't you write?"

Why don't I write? That's something I've always wondered. It's not like I don't have material or personal experience to write about. I think I've lived enough for a couple of good novels, or maybe even three. Heck, if I'm desperate for ideas, I just need to look at my family tree. We're a regular soap opera.

I don't know what I'm afraid of exactly. I guess there's always that ever-present fear of rejection or of failure. But how do I know unless I try? Insert additional cliches here. What if what I write sucks? What if I'm boring and pointless? What if the story never comes together? He replied with, "What if you're great? What if in two years, there's a book out there with your name as the author?"

Of course, I thought, That would be awesome. Just as he said, "Wouldn't that be awesome?"

Sometimes we ignore a calling because it's the easier thing to do. I've been ignoring mine for as long as I can remember. Don't ask me why, because I don't really know. But there's no ignoring it now. When time after time, friends and loved ones, people who know you, point out the obvious, it's time to stop ignoring it. No excuses exist except my own, and even I can't stand to listen to myself.

It's not like I haven't researched the subject either. I just haven't made the time to do it. The most common piece of advice from accomplished authors is, "Just write." So here I am, just writing.

"I feel like I should slip on some Nikes, " I tell my friend.

"If it'll help," he replies. Expectant pause. "Just do it."


So this is it.

I'm a writer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm a Grown Woman


GIRLS need this to identify themselves.
GROWN WOMEN already knew this!

Girls leave their schedule wide-open and wait for a guy to call and make plans.
Grown women make their own plans and nicely tell the guy to get in where he fits in.

Girls want to control the man in their life.
Grown women know that if he's truly hers, he doesn't need controlling.

Girls check you for not calling them.
Grown women are too busy to realize you hadn't.

Girls try to put a man 'on lock' by using sex.
Grown women know that it's the sex of the mental kind that makes a man want to 'lock' you down.

Girls fake-moan, lay there and take the stabbing.
Grown women say, "Just stop", get up, get dressed and walk it out.

Girls are afraid to be alone.
Grown women revel in it-- using it as a time for personal growth.

Girls ignore the good guys.
Grown women ignore the bad guys.

Girls worry about not being pretty and/or good enough for their man.
Grown women know that they are pretty and/or good enough for any man.

Girls try to monopolize all their man's time (i.e, don't want him hanging with his friends).
Grown women realize that a lil' bit of space makes the 'together time' even more special -- and goes to kick it with her own friends!

Girls think a guy crying is weak.
Grown women offer their shoulder and a tissue.

Girls want to be spoiled and 'tell' their man so.
Grown women 'show' him and make him comfortable enough to reciprocate w/o fear of losing his 'manhood'.

Girls get hurt by one man and make all men pay for it.
Grown women know that that was just one man.

Girls fall in love, chase aimlessly after the object of their affection, ignoring all 'signs'.
Grown women know that sometimes the one you love, don't always love you back -- and move on, without bitterness.

Girls will read this and get an attitude.

Grown women will read this and know which one I am!