Mississippi Moments

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

God is not the author of our storms.
--something I heard on the radio today.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Be in awe of all that is alive.
Be in natural wonder.
It is the pace of peace.---Gunilla Norris

We did it. Cedar and I played in the dirt all afternoon. In the sun. In the warmth. In between the conversations with neighbors and passersby. With our bare hands and paws. Digging. Moving. Hard work separating grassroots from stone pathway and such. Clearing the areas around the new lavendar plants from last year. Four survived the winter. Wondering why the rosemary in the front section has died or is in process of dying. it is newer than the one by the front door and that one is thriving. Well, maybe this will be the chance to grow something new in the space. Pruned the forcythia some and the columnar apple trees. All of this seems like one delicious, dirty metaphor for my life. And I'll take it...or till it. (Couldn't help myself).

Cedar and I also walked at Shilshole with good coffee and eagle song...and the mountains singing. Kayakers, sailboaters, divers, families with small children, and a rally of people who dig old Hondas and Nissans (by old I mean from when I was in college time). And this before 8 am. It was hopping at the beach today. Even the ducks were in abundance. The redwinged blackbirds were declaring turf. This is what I have been waiting for. Among other things. This is rhythm. This is what I know. This is what I want. This is LIFE.

Cleaned up a storm around here. You wouldn't know it. More infrastructure than topical. Enjoyed teaching dance yesterday. Have a cup of tea ready for this evening's work in front of the fire with dried rosemary and lavendar to scent the room. It will be a cozy time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The only place where your dream becomes impossible
is in your own thinking.--Rev. Robert Schuller

I like that one.
This week, I learned a new word in therapy--"ascetia". It isn't depression. It is a state of being, of mind, of heart, of soul where you just don't care anymore. About anything really. Going through the motions. No essence to it. In between what ain't and acting "as if". That's where I've been since I got a note in the mail blasting me. It was a straw that just "broke something" inside of me. And nothing has helped me get grounded again. Until last night....

Back to teaching dance again. Back to playing with my nephew and niece. Back to getting more paperwork and support from my references for the adoption process. Back to scheduling plane reservations for Jonestown. Back to noticing that it is light out after school now and I actually want to work in the yard and garden. That's a big one. Back to checking out books from the library again because I can read and want to. I just love those Dear America books and I am reading one on a Jewish immigrant girl at the turn of the 20th century in NYC. Fascinating. I would love to have Colleen do some of the voice in a NYC Yiddish-English accent so I can put a voice to her diary entries. The character's name is Zipporah.
Cedar is receiving great care at Lydia's. He even emailed me last night asking if he could stay over for another night. I need to email back. His foot is healing and they are having a field trip tomorrow. His foot will be better and he can run in the mud and muck.
I met with a former student of mine from San Diego. I taught her in 1991-1993. Wow. She is almost 25 years old. I have only met with one other student from the past places that are not Seattle. We enjoyed dinner and chat. And mostly talking about the present. We plan to meet again. She is newly moved to Seattle. This was one of the families that advocated me starting my own school when I lived and worked in San Diego. There were 12 of them after the first year. This is not a dream I have now. I just want to find the "right" school for me that will pay well enough, support what I can bring to the learning environment, encourage me to grow in my own personal and professional skills, and provide adequate health insurance for me and mine. And not be too far to commute each day and still have a wonderful life. There. It's out there. I am thinking on this job thing. More details that I cannot share here are on the plate, impacting some of my previous intentions. More to come. All is well either way. Any way.
I like being out of the "ascetia fog". I prefer to be on the hopeful side of things. It seems more like "home" now to me than that other place. And if it is part of the picture, one of the things I have learned is to just wait it out. Not rail. Not fight. Not succumb. Just wait. And try not to eat too much tortellini and remember to drink water (which I am not good at) and move, exercise, walk my dog, dance, whatever. Get moving. IT helps. Even when I can't sleep--which is part of this ascetia. It robs my energy. Now I have some. And I know where to get more.

Monday, March 23, 2009

MRI results came back..actually, I got up the nerve to call and find out. (Although it has been pointed out to me that there would have been word much before now if the results had been other than "GREAT" which is exactly what my team head doctor said...and she thanked me for the Healthy Brain and Healthy Parenting Resources I have suggested for her as she looks for the right school setting for her 3 and a half year old daughter.) This specialist is on faculty at UW and she has asked me at every consult now questions about what I recommend and what I perceive and what I suggest for her young learner. It feels good to me to be asked and affirmed.

Therapy and a shrunken head now are also helping. I am off for some quality dog cuddling time and then early to bed. It is softly and coldly raining.

Off to bed. With tea and dog.
So, I wake up in a bad mood most mornings.
Coffee, an intentional walk and/or workout at Curves usually unhooks the 4-bad mood hooks that are wrapped around my brain and consciousness. The apathy thing is something else. Not really working on that one just very aware of it. Afraid to hope. Afraid to grab the joy that's there and believe that it's real and for me. Afraid to plant something because it will just leave anyway or die from my not being able to nurture it or not belong in my garden. Maybe that's why I haven't picked up the harp really since Fiona died. (Ouch, that's hard to write.) And getting things in order for the "adoption"...notice it is still in quotation marks. Like I have my hands in the air and am gesturing as I say the word. Doesn't seem real even though I talk about it with a few folks here and there. I hate it when someone asks about it. Most people who come into my circle don't. I'm glad. It is a source of pain and crap.

I found a book on St. Joseph yesterday in the pew at Mass. It had me hooked. I should say the book found me. I left it there but not before I had read at least half of it. St. Joe isn't someone who has been on my radar-really, ever. Ok, ask and the teacher will come. I'll start by saying "Hello".

Managed to do the things on my list yesterday and end with a walk, a teacup of riesling, a fire, and a shower. These days, I can't keep track of whether I have or no, I am working all the time. No complaints. Just a what is. If you are working and moving and distracted, then it is hard for those two-by-fours from the Cosmos to hit you and hurt you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soup's on. Laundry's going. Dog has had hurt foot soaked in epsom salts and warm water.
Getting ready to make 4 doz. brownies for a fundraiser for Jessica's choir event. Still woozy from all the workshopping the past two days. Solid. For hours. Glad to have gone to Mass to be and listen and be nourished. Woke up with questions, too many questions this morning. Plan to prune and clear weeds and get dirty after baking is done.

"..as well as in the desert, where you saw how the Lord, your God, carried you, as a man carries his child, all along your journey until you arrived at this place." Deuteronomy 1:31

"Do not be deceived, my beloveds: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no alternation or shadow caused by change." James 1:16-17

"Oh, I want to believe these and LIVE them." Erin 46:9 million

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have tasted "Happy"...first time in a long time.
I put my hands in Mother Earth and began to pull some growing things. Got soil under my fingernails. Got that smell up in my nose. Dirtied my knees and sleeves. Cleared a small space for what will grow there--maybe blueberries, maybe not. Oh, YES!

Had a very good rest last night. First time in like forever. It's hard to find joy or to recognize what's right under your nose when and where you are exhausted. Probably will be the story of my life and...oh, well. I got my hands dirty this morning before school. That makes me HAPPY.

Worked out. That makes me happy. At least it balances things and opens the window for curiosity and humor in the moment.

Filters don't function in me when I am tired or upset. This has gotten me in trouble at work quite a bit lately and in my private life also. Those lessons keep coming for me to learn. Apparently, I need some more of those and I dread'em.

Adoption meeting went well. I may have already said that. Now I need the folks in Jonestown to say that I am not a felon or weirdo. Have to get that paperwork in. Good thing the director is in town this week. Did any of you who read this b-log have to get that kind of paperwork in when you wanted to have or raise a family? How about the number of noodles you typically eat on Tuesday nights or the brand of t-paper you prefer and its cultural significance to your family unit? Oh, and I forgot, the number of fleas you counted on your dog last season and your prediction for the upcoming season--notarized, of course.

I wanna trust the Lord. I wanna Keep the Faith. What Faith I don't know but the one that puts me near to Him and In Him. At the foot of the Cross with All that is Mine and Me. I wanna Hold on. I wanna Do what is right by My Lord and in the Eyes of My Lord. I just don't have a clue and it is so easy to get Lost these days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Don't know what to do with myself or this "new normal"...lost it is...or feels like it.
Hardy is back home with his pack.
I am sifting some serious thoughts about my future.
Maybe they aren't so serious so I can relax and just sift.
Ok, then.
And lost it feels like today. Lost. Some things just ain't right...but they ain't wrong neither.
Miz Sr. Teresa came by today to say hello and wish everyone in secondgradeland an Irish blessing. That was special.
The kids danced well today. Thanks to our Tara dancers as well. It was a long day. Not special. Lost.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tara show at the Center went very well.
Coli and her musician buddies were phenom.
The crowd was appreciative.
Loolie was sick and we missed her.
Maude texted as they watched the shuttle going up. How cool is that?
Now I am off for another walk with the Lads--this time in the wind and the setting sun.
The water is steel grey, rocky, and whipped.
Got to see Brenin and Haydn for a bit. Mom and Dad were across the way and many old-timers came by to give their blessings and wishes for a Happy St. Patrick's Day.
It's more than a wee bit better than this time last year. That's what I think.
I missed Mark and the usual crowd...and things change. I'm not going easy with this truth and will need to..or change the kind of boat I've built myself so it can weather the changes with a little more balance---or at least a decent cup holder for my tea.
Walkin', Singin', Playin' in a Winter?? Wonderland....
Had a wonderful 2 hour walk with the Lads this morning with coffee, AND Christmas jazz, and walking by my favorite antique shop on the corner of 65th and 3rd NW and then on up the hill--with BIG, FLAT, juicy snowflakes coming down all around us! Hardy tries to eat'em and Cedar tries to herd'em...it was a loverly time. Cesar would not approve of the coffee and the Christmas jazz in one ear, but I don't care. We all had a great walk and came home and snuggled in for breakfast and come Quiet Time. 2 blessed hours out there! Loverly.

The Tara dancers made it on the Seattletimes.com video of the parade. There they are dancing!:) Go Tara.

Me, not listing anymore--settlin' into a-right. Slept through most of the night--could not believe it! Medicine can be our glorious friend. And Gatorade type things that make you feel like you have muscles and not rubber in your legs. And watching quality movies between naps and doggie playtimes. Check out "The Ultimate gift". There is more napping on the list of to-do's today inbetween lesson planning, church, Tara show, and dogs.

Back to reading the paper. And watching the snow --uh, rain now---come down.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Walking in the Rain with Dino, Bing, Sammy, Frank, Harry, and of course, Andy...and let's not forget the Beastie Boys. Again, one hand, two dogs, lovely walk--in the dark, Christmas lights still up and twinkling in the predawn drear, some errant snowmen who have not yet taken refuge in the correct decorations' box, and to boot, les cloches qui sonnent---bells chiming, tugged by morning winds, on wreaths that still speak 'God is Love" and 'He is Born". All of which Is. All of which Is- this morning.

Off to teach dance. Then more walks. Weeding. And schoolwork. Still not feeling well so I will throw a visit to the doctor in there. Was up most of the night again. This ain't right.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Quiet Time or Busy, Happy Boys

Waxing Moon, sparkle morning,quiet neighbors starting their day, me-ONE hand, two dogs, and a pocketful of dead fish treats....it was the best walk yet.
Here are some photos from Lydia for the overnight. They have Quiet Time, too, just like in secondgradeland.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dropping like flies they were.....
10 kids, down and gone, with the flu today--throughout the day....it was eery, sad, and completely interesting to watch the cycle repeat itself over and over. We had one faker and she went, too. She was caught licking a cupcake on the way down the hall with her mom. I don't care. She went where she needed to be.

I also witnessed the results of a "pro at work" today and a really smart little dog who loves to learn, please, and go! Lydia had me pick up the boys today after work by coming in and just watching through the kitchen window while she put the boys through some paces and then to show me what Hardy has learned in JUST TWO DAYS! She does with dogs what I do with children. (Can't put that in the homestudy though. The social workers wouldn't think it was funny...and another aside on this same subject. I was pulled aside in the hall at school today by the parent of a PRESCHOOLER--"Ms. R, we sure hope you will stay around so you can train our children, too!"--I thought to myself on the inside, "That's YOUR job, not mine." and on the outside, I said, "It's in God's hands, isn't it?" Big grin. Exit to get leftover children who were not ralphing and dispensing yet.) FOr a half an hour, I watched these things. Cedar and Hardy playing side by side but not interactively with a couple of balls and Lydia. Cedar was jealous throughout this whole sleepover thing and has been taunting Hardy and trying to get him into trouble. Lydia has his little pea-brain number. I saw it in action. It was hilarious. So in less than TWO DAYS,
*Hardy went from not knowing his name (really, he didn't respond when you called him by name) to coming full tilt and he now makes complete, not moving eye-contact.
*He plays a mean ball/fetch/ Lydia calls it showdown where ball is hefted, he retrieves and brings it back full bore with MUCHO distractions (dog barking on other side of fence, Dave complaining on other side of garden, Cedar trying to run and herd him, birds, rats, airplanes and then he hands the ball directly to Lydia and sits and waits for the next toss.
*He walks on lead now with no pulling. No blisters. With focus. With a grin. With respect for the pack leader/walker.
*He responds to the first time to corrections. (And most of the time, Lydia won't allow him not to be successful at first and then after he has had some practice, she gives him a chance to mess up, but he is such a quick and good learner, that he doesn't mess up much. AND JUST AFTER TWO DAYS.
*He did all these things with me...and as Lydia is showing me, I am tense when I walk him and play with him (yes, because he has given me several open blisters and made me dread walks because he pulls which is insane and not safe for him because it doesn't let him be the follower and just be a dog out for an enjoyable walk. He becomes the pack leader, deciding where to go, marking things, deciding when to sniff and stop, when to listen, the pace--those are not for him to decide in order to be a healthy, well-adjusted family/pack member. That is for every member of the family to do BUT him. We walk first. We lead. We set pace. We decide direction. We decide sniffing place and time. Lydia showed me how to do it with him. He responds so well to the positive reinforcement plan. He submitted to her today (more than once) and she taught me some more canine body language. He hasn't submitted to me but he listens to me because he knows I will enforce the rules. She uses his own kibble soaked in dead fish . Yup, I said dead fish. HE LOVES THEM. Cedar-not so much unless Hardy is getting them and he ain't and then he joins the training on the side and when he gets rewarded, he takes it off to the side and spits it out.....and Hardy finds it later and Lydia is so on this, that she actually takes him over there so he can WIN-WIN at something and then he gets to eat it...and not the rats. She says he will be a great, if not champion level Fly-ball or Frisbee dog. He and Cedar were so tired and happy when I came to pick them up that they both fell asleep in the 25 minute drive home. Tongues hanging out of the sides of their mouths, heads down, eyes mostly closed, "oh---what--we home already? uh-okay" . I love watching Lydia in action. I used to think that I could do what she does. Nope. I could not. I am not intuitive about dogs. She is. She breathes dog. She dreams dog. She is dog in people layers. Hardy is a different fellow.I can sense the shift in his focus and energy. And that's what she said to me as we were walking out the door---"Gee, we only had time to work on focusing...so that's what we did. Focus. Now, you are ready for the weekend and to keep it up. The focusing part." I will surely do my best.
Both boys are sacked out now, but no one is snoring.
I am on the very weak end of this flu. I hope it wasn't me that passed it around. I don't think so. I kept away from the children this week. I ventured to have a cup of tea today and some chips. I payed for it somewhat but not like before. Off to math workshop all day tomorrow. I had an evening school meeting tonight as well. I am racing through the week and don't like it much. The highlight of my day, other than watching Lydia work with Hardy and Cedar was the article my brother sent on a new species of raincoastal forest wolves. They're REDHEADS...or should I say REDCOATS!!!
Still have the flu. Glad the dogs are on an overnight.
Can't rest 'cause i'm up everu half-hour or couple of hours depending on what the ole system is doing to expunge what needs to be expunged. sigh.
All will be well....soon I hope.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I currently have the flu. Day 1. Ugh.
Lydia is going to take the dogs early tomorrow and they will have an overnight and some time on a Field Trip to the Field in Clearview. I am excited for them. Tomorrow, secondgraders from secondgradeland get to dance for the first time in front of a real audience that is not their parents and grandparents. They have learned a shortened version of the Bridge of Athlone, the Meet and Greet "Ringing the Bells" dance, and two "steps" for a stepping out. Two Tara dancers are coming to even things out. It should be lovely and short and we can walk. I hope I can make it. Must make it. We have worked hard for this and I have not had a group of schoolchildren who could truly and cleanly dance (more or less) since Virginia. The dogs are well and happy and fed and having chew-time. Brigie has painted the lavendar room and it is a lovely, warm sage that matches the curtains that Little Feather gave me and also picks up one of the colors in a piece of pastel art that I have been paying on for over a year--which is now in my kitchen awaiting its new home in the "sage room".

Adoption Journey -part 4,312, 591--the FBI clearance came through today. I go see my social worker next week. She is redoing the Homestudy COMPLETELY----this will be NUMBER 4. I will finish the addendum about the cultural resources about raising an African American Child......I snicker a little at this (at the same time I take it seriously) but I list Love, Prayer, My Village, Love and Logic by Cline and Fay, the entire village at Jonestown Family Center, the resources that I found for all the other homestudies including UW, Astrid Pujari, my brother, Bastyr, resources in the local public schools (of which there are many and I would seek them out in a heartbeat), the single parents who are raising African American children that I met in the SOLO parenting group, the friends who are raising children of another culture/race...and bottom line, the friends who are raising children period......oh, and the internet and the resources that Dad has about raising healthy, successful, self-reliant males---Gurion's stuff. O'Dea is now one of a select few of "poster schools of excellence"....There is so much out there!

I am off to bed. It's not far. I've been camping out in my living room for over a month. I just love it. It's like being at Pop's Lake minus the cigarstore Indians on the mantle that are probably worth a fortune on eBay now and who aren't going anywhere because they are already home. Like me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

It's not all heaven. You get thrown in detention (at Auntie Lydia's) if you can't play nice by the rules. Cedar is very stressed, too stressed by being jumped all the time here, so the boys can't play together anymore and not make my dog aggressive...okay. We will play in shifts and it works. Lydia has never seen this in Cedar before and neither have I except the last two days. We will amp down to no stress or much less.....I have less stress, too. Too bad Alice is over in Wenatchee until March 20th.Therapy shrunked my head and rinsed my soul this eve. I'm heading to bed. 7 pm. Lovely.

Still Havin' Fun!

Check these out and tell me how you think Hardee likes dog daycare at Auntie Lydia's? I just LOVE photo # 3 and his happy dog smile!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Call Me a Workin' Fool....or something much gentler.
Been at it all day and well into the evening...late evening.
Started with rompus, walks, more rompus, some training right off the 6 am bat. Then a bath, more rest for me. Brigie working on priming, patching and painting and watching out for "the lads". Me-off to Duvall for 2+ hour dance workshop. It was FULL.Both sessions. All ages. I had a ball. They want dancing once a month. I think I may do it. I really like the Duvall community. Then I worked on school stuff all afternoon at a local cafe with a cup of tea and watching the snow come down. Made me a little nervous. The concert tonight was excellent--Red Crow with my acquaintances Susan and Tony. The crowd wasn't so big because of the snow but those there were into it. Crumac, the very best the Northwest has to offer, came next. The crowd grew a bit but nowhere near the 300 they were expecting because of earlier interest. We were treated like the gods and goddesses that we are. Snork. The ceilidh portion was fun and went for one hour exactly. I was determined to get home before the next snowshowers hit. I managed to get very lost in Redmond and Fletcher on the phone helped to get me back home. More play with the dogs under the moon and with snow falling. Then into the house for treats, clean-up and bed. Which is where I am going next. It has been a long day. I managed to kill the burgeoning migraine with some Exedrin. May need some more tomorrow.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Beastie Boys are BAACCKKKKK!
(Considering I never knew who the original ones were this probably isn't entirely true.)
For the next 10 days or so, this blog is mostly going to be for Maude and her boys...because one of her boys is here. So picture this----we have already had our first walk with both dogs, ONE ARM (mostly) for 50 minutes in this beautiful morning, three knockout sessions (first one at 3:30 am because I was up sleep-walking again anyway and forgot where I was) of rough/tumble/chase/wrassle/c'mon.....get this old frisbee now that Cedar didn't care about for like a year......tug-o'war, "quit licking my balls, you Weirdo" in pretty clear Airedale speak, and some "c'mon, "Mom" and "Lady, Who's not my Mom, but I like you anyway because you take me for walks and feed me and love on me"--what's next?
In other words, we are fine. My left arm is longer than the other because Hardy Boy is strong (I think you're right about the breed watching how he plays, the strength of his neck, his chest, his voice, and his muscles). Everyone is eating well and doing all their other business just fine. Have fun! We are.......

Today is the Celebration of Life Mass, honor burial, and wake for Mr. O'Grady. One of the finest people Earth and Heaven will ever know. Will be there to honor, pray, and support--esp. Kathleen, Michael, Mrs. O'Grady, the boys, and the entire O'Grady clan. There are no words for their loss.

Then I am working all weekend with assessment and dancing stuff. Teaching classes and calling a concert/ceilidh tomorrow night in Duvall. It should be fun. And I get to hang out with some of the Northwest's finest musicians. Google; Duvall Concert and Ceilidh for directions.

Sunday is the Tara Feile with more of the best musicians, dancers, songsters,and dancers to be had anywhere!

And lots of working and playing with the dogs....I am busting what ass I have. It will certainly be smaller. P.S. BOTH OF THESE BOY-DOGS SNORE!!!!!