Friday, October 28, 2005

Phatasmagorical Phive

1) Favorite Halloween Candy -- Candy corn and those peanut butter taffies that come in orange and black wax paper twists. And, of course, anything CHOCOLATE!

2) Least Favorite Halloween Candy -- Raisins. They aren't candy, WHICH IS MY POINT. Why do people try to appease their consciences by giving out healthy snacks? It's a sugar fest--get with the program.

3) Best Costume Ever -- Sadistic nun, complete with whip and stompin' boots.

4) Worst Costume Ever -- Probably something from my childhood, one of those awful constumes with the plastic face masks held on by a thin string of elastic. Made your face hot and sweaty and you couldn't see properly.

5) Saint -- I don't know much about saints. Sorry.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nursery, 11:00 p.m.
by Robyn Sarah, from Questions About the Stars

Asleep, the two of you,
daughter and son, in separate cribs,
what does it matter to you
that I stand watching you now,
I, the mother who did not smile all day,
who yelled, Go away, get out, leave me alone
when the soup-pot tipped over on the stove,
the mother who burned the muffins
and hustled bedtime, tight-lipped.
You are far away,
beyond reach of whispered
amends. Yet your calm
breathing seems to forgive,
into the air to mesh
like lace, knitting together
the holes in the dark.
It makes of this dark
one whole covering
to shawl around me.
How warm it is, I think,
how much softer
than my deserving.

Found this morning at Oh, how this speaks to me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Yesterday evening I rushed home with the girls to help them get into costume for the fall festival at their daycare (7 to 9 on a weeknight—what were they thinking?) I was enjoying dolling them up, joking around while I put makeup on my rockstar 5 year old.  

When they were dressed, I decided I had better give 3 year old her medicine before we left. I reached into the cupboard and gave her a Singulair, then started preparing the Kepra.  “Momma—don’ like it!” she said. I looked down, and she was sticking out a tongue with bits of what was clearly not her yummy cherry Singulair. “My God,” I though, “what did I give her?” I looked in the cupboard and there was a bottle of my husband’s Elavil. I wiped as much out of her mouth as I could and made her rinse and spit.  Then I was back and forth with poison control, while they tried to sort out body weight and dosage. Meanwhile rockstar was agitating to leave for the festival. Poison control thought we would be okay, but should be alert to any unusual drowsiness.

So we get to KinderCare and are no sooner out of the car than poison control calls back and says they would highly recommend I take 3 year old to the ER for observation, since Elavil can cause seizures and heart problems. I drag Dear Husband from work to take care of 5 year old rockstar and off I go to the local ER, a place I am all too familiar with. Small children who have eaten medicine get pushed to the front of the queue, so we were soon in a cramped little room with a narrow bed and a TV playing an endless loop of children’s videos.  The highlight of our visit was the administration of activated charcoal. Imagine encouraging a small child to drink an 8 oz glass of soda mixed with black grit. I could overhear our nurse speaking with someone who said, “You need to put a top on the cup. If she sees it’s black, she’s not gonna drink it.” Of course, my nurse completely ignored this advice and I had to hold down screaming 3 year old while the nurse syringed black gunk into her mouth. Nurse was ready to use a nasal tube, but by this time I’m thinking For Pete’s sake it wasn’t even a whole tablet! Happily, the doctor vetoed a nasal tube. Which is a good thing, because by this time I was pretty weepy and felt like I had this big label on me: “BAD IRRESPONSIBLE MOM.”

We were released at 1 AM. 3 year old was exhausted but healthy.

This incident brings to mind an old superstition of mine: Whenever I’m happy and excited, I should prepare for something bad to happen. Being exhilarated and happy makes me uneasy, because I have this underlying fear that payback is coming.

But for now I’m paid up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Yesterday 5 year old learned to draw stars. She was very proud of herself and offered to teach me to draw a proper star. She thought I did a very good job. All evening she worked drawing stars on a sheet of paper. As I got 3 year old into her pajamas, 5 year old sat at her table in deep concentration. “Come on,” I said, “you have to get into your night clothes.” She slowly shook her head, still intent on her paper, and said in wonderment, “I’m just ‘sessed with stars.”

In the bathroom I was brushing 3 year old’s teeth and 5 year old continue to draw on her paper, now on the bathroom counter. I said, “Can we interrupt the construction of constellations to brush your teeth?” “No ma’am,” she replied, “We are closed forever.”

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Meme

  1. What was the last CD you purchased? How to Dismantal an Atomic Bomb, by U2.

  2. Did you like it? Oh yeah.

  3. Is it the kind of music you would call your favorite? I do love U2, but I’m also fond of darker music. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with many artists, so I don’t buy much any more and haven’t much of a clue about what’s going on in the alternative music world.

  4. What was the first album (CD for you youngsters) you ever owned? This I don’t remember very clearly. My mom had a bunch of records for me with songs from Disney movies  and such, as well as storyies on albums, like The Little Red Bird, about a very angry bird (I could relate to that one, alright!).  When it came time to purchase my own albums, well, I’m not sure. There was a period of time when my parents signed me up for the Columbia record club. I think that resulted in some pretty embarrassing purchases. The first album I remember consciously buying—actually thinking about and going into a record store and buying—was Vienna by Ultravox.

  5. And what was your favorite cut from that recording? Well, my favorite song from Vienna was the title track.  I grew tired of them pretty soon.  Now, when I was a kid, my mom had a single that I just loved. This was in the 70s. It was a song about The Jolly Green Giant--yep, the one from the frozen veggie commercials. “Ho Ho Ho, Green Giant!” Something about his sidekick Sprout.  How we came to have a 45 with the Green Giant jingle on it I will never know.  Probably some sort of promotion. It seems like there was a little story, but I don’t remember a book.  I was probably all of 5 when I liked this song.  My other favorite song when I was 5 was Light My Fire by the Doors. I have a vivid memory of hearing it the first time while riding in a car with my dad. I thought it was the best song ever, but since I had no purchasing power, I didn’t own a copy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dear Lorna

I was so very moved this morning when I visited Lorna at See Through Faith and found a special post about my Dear Husband and our situation. I felt my prayer time, such as it was this morning (some drowsy time in the car before work), was muddled and disconnected, so it was special to find God delivering a message to me in a way He knew I could understand in my tired and headachy state. You can read her post here.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Meme

1. What is your favorite word? Halcyon. I first encountered this word in Brideshead Revisted, a novel that obsessed me as an adolescent. Arcadia is another word that I love.
2. What is your least favorite word? Heresy. Because it is used to shut you up.
3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Surrealistic play. I’ve always enjoyed the enthusiasm and energy of the surrealists and dadaists, and that sort of willingness to bend reality and see what happens is very attractive.
4. What turns you off? Sentimentality disguised as relgious artifact. All those awful saccharine images of praying children and mild Jesuses. Ugh.
5. What is your favorite curse word? F**k. Good Anglo-Saxon curse word that doesn’t involve God, although I frequently end up dragging Him into my curses.
6. What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of libraries, the quiet, soothing, noise of pages turning, muffled voices with the occasional delighted (or maybe not so happy!) outburst from children. It’s so peaceful.
7. What sound or noise do you hate? Jackhammers and leaf blowers. Not much explanation needed. I can’t imagine anyone delights in these.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Librarian, because I love libraries and books, and helping other people love libraries and books.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Paratrooper. Terrified of heights.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I’m so happy to see you! Come in and join the party!

The dancing slows way down

So, after feeling very optimistic about Dear Husband’s doctor visit, the reality of what we are facing began to sink in, and we investigated the procedure he’s to undergo. The possible ramifications for a 34 year old are depressing and daunting. Besides a possible yearlong recovery, the final end result will be that he can catheterize himself to send medicine into his bladder. Doesn’t that sound fun? We won’t be able to have any more children, but that’s okay. The main concern is impotence. Some websites say that this is temporary, but who knows, really. I don’t think his doctor has ever encountered this condition in someone so young. Dear Husband is angry and scared. I was feeling rather optimistic. Then he reminded me that the surgery is just a first step. The idea of catheterizing himself makes him feel ill. As he said to me last night “I’m just starting out—I don’t even have a career yet, just a job!” To him it looks like his quality of life is going straight into the toilet along with any chance of living normally. And he doesn’t want me to be cheerful and optimistic about it. I understand that. I remember when Child 2 was born at 28 weeks how annoying it was to hear people try to put a positive spin on it, even though (and here’s the odd part) I actually was convinced inside myself that she would survive and thrive. And even though I thought it would be okay, that didn’t mean I wasn’t assailed by fear, anger and sadness. That’s where Dear Husband is, and I need to find the best way to be a comfort and support to him.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Little happy dance . . . Thanks, God!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my Dear Husband has a nasty and very painful disease called Interstitial Cystitis.  We were thrown about a month back when his specialist dropped our insurance and we had to scramble to find a new one.  There aren’t that many doctors who specialize in IC, and many of them will see only women, so he has to drive an hour to the New Doc.  And then, it’s always unnerving to have to start with a new doctor—so much explaining, wondering if they thoroughly read the records, and such. And the new doctor is an hour away. But Dear Husband had his first appointment today with New Doc, who seems to really know the disease well and has some definite ideas about improving treatment. Dear Husband has a prescription for physical therapy, a new med regimen, and, well, a rather nasty operation to look forward to. I won’t go into details, since it would probably turn any male readers pale and cause them to cross their legs protectively. But New Doc thinks this operation is essential. When to have surgery we don’t yet know—it means a couple weeks off work, a lot of pain, a lot of lost blood, and a rather long recovery. But, nasty operation aside, I’m so pleased that this doctor is thorough and understands what Dear Husband is dealing with.

This is a good ending to a rather sorry week. The sun has even come out after a foggy morning. Now, if I could just go curl up with my frivolous novel and sleep for 12 hours straight.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Yep, that's me

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

What's your theological worldview?
created with

my husband despairs of me

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I'm a cross!

You are St Brigid's Cross: St. Brigid is an Irish
saint who hand-wove a cross,out of rushes she
found by the river. She made the cross while
explaining the passion of our Lord to a pagan

Friday, October 07, 2005

The RevGals Meme

1) What is your earliest memory of church?
Easter egg hunt, because that was about the only time we’d go, unless mom was on a jag! Awful sugar eggs and a big spread of deviled eggs, fried chicken, potato salad, and iced tea (and that weird punch that comes in gallon jugs for the kiddies).

2) How old were you when you first took Communion?
Hmm. I’m not sure I remember. You had to come at some odd time, like Wednesday night, once a month. I received the impression that communion was not particularly important.

3) What is your favorite Bible verse/passage?
We just got asked this in company devotions. I don’t really have a favorite. I picked a verse from the Song of Solomon, a portion of which I read at my wedding to Dear Husband.

4) What verse/passage nicks you uncomfortably?
That psalm about sitting by the waters of Babylon. I’m too lazy to look it up. You know--the one about dashing out the children’s brains. It starts out so nicely and then just goes all to hell.

5) What's your favorite hymn or praise song?
I’m going to be really boring and say Amazing Grace. It was my mom’s favorite, and it still makes my hair stand up on end. Definitely nothing I’ve heard from the hymnal around here has swayed me, and I loathe most contemporary praise music.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dream Song

This morning I woke up with some lyric fragments insistently lodged in my brain: “blah blah blah a thousand years. Just be still with me blah blah blah” That was it. I knew it was David Bowie’s voice in my head. I finally located the lyrics, his theme song from Cat People, of all things, not exactly one of my favorites. I rarely remember my dreams, so it is rather remarkable to wake up with a clearly recognizable song bumping around in my noggin. So, what message is my subconscious trying to send me?

See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Just be still with me
You wouldn't believe what I've been thru

Lego Fun

So, probably everyone in the world knows about The Brick Testament except me. How did I miss this? This is the coolest! Bible stories told in Legos! I’ll take this over Precious Moments any time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

All Prayers Gratefully Accepted

After a brief respite over the weekend, my dear husband is again in intense pain. I feel so sad and helpless. Nothing much I do can really help, and the almost constant pain wears at his spirit. When a man starts to wish he had terminal cancer because he would at least know there was an end in sight, you know things are bad. I gather that quite a few people with IC have expressed this wish, if the support groups are any indication. He has one of the best specialists in town, but we can’t afford the acupuncture she recommends, or fly to San Francisco where one of the absolute best therapeutic programs is. There are no more days off to draw from, so he drags himself to work. He wants so much to finish his BA and continue schooling to become a chaplain. This disease makes him feel as if all his dreams are unreachable. He worries so much about being a burden and about not really being there for the girls or for me. And I feel like all I can do is cry. Of course I pray and pray and pray. I get testy with God, I get testy with the girls, poor things. I’m frightened, and feel so insufficient.

Afternoon update:
Dear Hubby has yet another UTI. He gets them every few weeks. A course of antibiotics, a brief spell of relief, another UTI. He couldn't see the urologist, who is away on mission, only the nurse. He has to change doctors soon, for insurance reasons. I hope the new urologist will have some thoughts on how to treat the recurrent infections as well as the IC. The traditional home preventatives--cranberry juice and acidophilus--are very bad for IC bladders. He's looking into taking his short term disability, if it doesn't take forever to kick in. Sigh.

Thanks, everyone, for your prayers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Idiosyncratic Me

Picking up on the 5 idiosyncracies meme, here are a few of my peculiarities:

1. The distinction between “that” vs. “which” means more to me than it should. I know that these two words have been used interchangeably probably since the time of Shakespeare, but somewhere along the line as an editor, I learned that “that” is inclusive and “which” is not. I am brought up short every time I see them used “incorrectly.”

2. The toilet paper must exit over the top, not from the back. My husband of course puts it on the wrong way.

3. I don’t like to look in reflective surfaces in the dark, particularly mirrors. (Anyone remember “Bloody Mary”?)

4. I am immediately drawn to people with odd-colored hair and multiple piercings.

5. I must have water by my bed at night. No exceptions.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Okay, if you have not yet seen the "refurbished" trailer for The Shining, go to Real Live Preacher's site right now. I will have a smile on my face for a while.