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Friday, September 19, 2014

Wine and Clarity

It's late and I probably should not post when I've had a couple of glasses of wine, but.....what the heck! Maybe I'll make a tradition out of it.

No wait, that could turn me into an alcoholic.

So, silliness aside, what I really wanted to write about here, ironically, is the clarity that I have been experiencing regarding my writing.

I've decided to really go for this thing.

I'm not sure about the hows or whens, but I'm tired of giving power to the what ifs, ya know?

I'm just gonna write.  I'm gonna write here, write in Bubblews, and write the novel that I just conceived 3 days ago.

The really coo-coo (or maybe not....I'm actually just saying that because I know that at least 50% of you will say it's coo-coo) thing about this is that the clarity came to me when I attempted to do a Tarot reading on myself about a week ago.  I'm serious.

I bought these Tarot cards about a year ago and I started teaching myself how to do simple readings.  I've been learning a lot with them.  Trust me, it's more about intuition than any sort of voodoo stuff.

Anyway, now that my wine induced clarity has led me to Tarot readings, I am going to sign off.  :)

Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser.......I hope you'll join me for my next entry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maybe I'm a Buddhist Christian

I got two books from the library yesterday.  One is called "The Lost Books of the Bible" and the other is about the life of Buddha.  For all of you, not knowing who I am, it would appear as though I am searching for answers.  You are right.

But I'm not searching for answers for lack of being given a foundation.  On the contrary.  I was raised in a Christian family and was very active in church as a youth.  I attended a Christian college and worked in a Christian camp. I have a relationship with Jesus that runs deep.

But I am still searching for the truth.  Not the truth, as in, "how can I know God."  No, I already had the pleasure of understanding and feeling the immense LOVE that IS God.

What I am wondering about are the questions surrounding religion and the hows and whys of what was included in the Bible and how much is based on previous stories that were passed down through other religions much older than Christianity.

I am wondering about the people who made the decisions as to what all of the rules and doctrine of Christianity would be.

I feel that most of what I want to know in life can be quickly learned if I ask the question, "Why?"  Funny how that is the main question from a child of 2 to 5 years old.

As for the book about Buddha, well, technically Buddhism is not a religion.  It's a philosophy.  It's a philosophy which I've become more and more drawn to over the past few years, so I want to learn more.

My husband has always doubted Christianity because of the way the Church seemed to manipulate and control the masses.  He is also interested in learning about Buddhism, so we're on the same page here.

So, there you have it.

Just another part of our journey.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Morning. What a Hoot.

******This was a post originally written on my other blog back in March 2014*******
******Hang in there, I will post something new soon.  I am working on combining my blogs******

It's quiet.  I'm getting my much-needed "alone time" that I demand each day.  If my husband were reading this he would assume (incorrectly) that I am writing this late at night.  I'm a night owl, and something in me has always bristled at being told when to sleep and not to sleep.  So I enjoy late nights while my family snores in their beds, and I growl at those who try to pry me from "el vientre" before I am ready.

"El vientre?" It's Spanish for "the womb".  Years ago, when partying with some of my Mexican friends, we'd all crash late at night.  It would only take one person to start moving around and clanking breakfast dishes to break the magical spell of that wonderful sleep that finally happens after one has slept off the alcohol.  Inevitably that one person would be the one who drank the least the night prior.  Shame on them!  Soon my other friends would begin to stir, and groggily yet cheerfully they'd throw off their blankets, until one by one they would all succumb to the morning bird peer pressure.  Not me.  After quite a few times of being teased about being "flojita" (lazy) in the morning, I told them that I am too comfy to get out of bed, that I felt like I was being torn from "el vientre."

In earlier years, I would be the last one to fall asleep at a slumber party, and the last to arise in the morning.  My friends would be giggling and chomping on cinnamon rolls, and I'd be groaning and crabbing at them for making too much noise.  On school days I would only eat breakfast if I had the kitchen to myself so as not to have to talk to anyone.  One summer during college years I worked at my dad's office and commuted with him each morning.  My one rule was "Don't talk to me until I've had at least one cup of coffee."

Two words that have always made me curl my upper lip into a snarl are "morning" and "breakfast".  To me they are just too cheerful-sounding for my overly sensitive, dawn-hating ears.

Morning Person: "Good morning!  What would you like for breakfast?"

Me: "How about a nice big cup of 'Shut the hell up and let me go back to bed?' "

I've always been a bear in the morning.  I've been known to throw out some pretty cutting remarks at innocent morning people.  I'm not proud of the following occurrences, but in order to fully illustrate my craziness I will take one for the art of blogging and risk having you dislike me.

1. I was about 18 years old and was on a trip with the youth group from church.  A few of us girls shared a hotel room.  I could set the story up to lay out my defense and tell you how cozy I was on the comfy hotel mattress with the thermostat set at just the right temperature and the curtains drawn to create a perfect, pitch black sleeping environment, but that would be a ploy to gain your support.  One of the sweetest friends I ever had was a very light sleeper, and she was almost always the first one to get up in the morning.  This trip was no exception.  To my sleepy brain and ears, the noise she made in getting out of bed, taking a shower, and turning on her blow dryer may as well have been explosives going off next to my bed.  I said (brace yourself, it's mean), "I feel sorry for whoever you end up marrying!"  She gave me the silent treatment for most of the morning, as I recall.  I can't say I blame her.

2. About 7 years after the previous incident, I was in Mexico, staying with my then boyfriend's' (now husband's) family for a few months.  You probably know that most families who live in Mexico have a maid, whether part-time or live-in.  Anyway, my in-laws were sort of "between maids" and were trying some out during the course of my stay.  At one point they had a young woman come from a neighboring ranchito (a very rural place) and she was accustomed to rising hours before the rooster to get started on daily chores.  I had been sleeping in the room next to the kitchen, and at 3:30 in the morning she was clanging pots and pans and utensils around like nobody's business.  Not only that, but her shoes had hard soles, and I could hear her coming down the wooden stairs on the way to the kitchen, and every step she would take while mopping the floor (how dirty could it possibly be, if it was just mopped and swept late afternoon the day before?!) was like a mockery to my senses.  On the 2nd or 3rd night of this, I couldn't control myself.  Let's just say that the bear emerged from her den, and she was not happy.  I confronted the poor, surprised little wisp of a girl and accusingly asked her in Spanish what in God's name she was doing awake at this hour making such a racket in the room next to where I am sleeping.  I told her to go back to bed.  In the morning I confessed my transgressions to my mother-in-law, who had a good laugh over the matter and smoothed things over with the maid, telling her to not get up so early, because she wouldn't want to wake the Incredible Hulk.

Okay, so I'm a little dramatic at times.  So is my son.  He doesn't like going to bed early either.  The problem is, he tends to get up fairly early.  Okay, well... "fairly early" by my standards.  He is also very persistent about having other people awake along with him.  In fact, he doesn't seem to want to allow anyone to sleep if he is awake.  He has been this way since birth.  Homeschooling is perfect for him and me, because we start our day whenever we feel like it.  But he always gets up before me and taps on my head every 15 minutes until I drag my butt out of bed.

The other night I made a decision.  I decided to try to go to bed when he does, and get up before he does.  That way I could have my "me time" in the morning and de-crabbify myself with coffee and writing before he gets up.  It's made for a couple of productive days of morning blogging.  Two days down, and so far, so good.

We'll see how long I last.  All I know is that if anyone tries to demand that I wake up or go to sleep at these times, I'll go back to my night owl ways.  I am nothing if not stubborn.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To School, or Not to School? Our Wonderful Trip to Crazy Town

******This post was originally written in November of 2013 on my other blog*****

It's 3:07 p.m.  I have one nerve left, and it's ready to go on strike. Is it too early for a glass of wine? Sometimes homeschooling feels like a path to Crazy Town.

My son is such a great kid.  The thing is, he gives me a run for my money.  One may think it's because he asks me really tough questions.  Actually, that's not it.  I'm fine with saying "I don't know, let's look it up."  What's sometimes tiring is that he never stops talking, and, well, you know those books about highly sensitive kids?  He's one of those.  A wonderful, sweet, caring, smart, analytical, worried, obsessive one of those.  Also, he could easily be classified as ADHD, if we were to go that route.

Last year I attended numerous bitch sessions (otherwise known as IEP meetings) at my son's school, which fueled the decision to home school him this year.  Yes, we were aware that he did not want to sit "Criss-Cross Applesauce" or do 37 math worksheets each day, nor would he finish the unfinished worksheets around the kitchen table later on, unless we wanted to experience 2 hours of tears and scolding and stress each evening. Finally, no, we were not going to slap an ADHD label on him and drug him up so that he would be easier for everyone to manage.

Other fuel for the fire consisted of my two years of experience as a public school elementary teacher, where I discovered that most teachers feel like they are not given the trust to teach.  They pretty much have their hands tied as far as being able to teach creatively and effectively, and the kid/teacher ratio combined with student's unique personalities was a recipe for educational hell for any child with a strong will to learn at their own pace.

We were going to move anyway, so we decided that upon moving from MN to TX in the fall, there would be no more school hell for our son.  We would home school, and we would keep our eyes open for an alternative school that may be a good fit for our son.

I am still trying to figure out how I should approach homeschooling my son.  I have not purchased any curriculum, because I have a pretty solid grasp on what to do in order to teach the standards to a second grader.  I also don't want to be too "teachery" with him, because he closes up and reverts to rebellious behavior.  Why force information into his brain, when he isn't ready to put it there?  It likely won't stick. I'm caught between worrying about grade level learning and natural learning.

What I mean is:

Why is it that a kid turns 5 and suddenly we want to place all of these expectations on his or her shoulders and trade fun, natural, curiosity-fueled learning for rigid, programmed, pigeonholed learning?  What if he wants to read Curious George books and watch Stephen Hawking videos, and learn math when the subject comes up?  If he decides to be a rocket scientist, won't that desire be strong enough to take it upon himself to learn physics and calculus?

On the other hand........

We sometimes feel a little panicky.  We live in a society that seems to be enslaved to this force-feeding style of teaching.  What if our situation changes and requires us to put our son back into public school, and he is "behind" in math and still doesn't want to write a book recommendation?  Also, though I am ashamed to admit it, I hate the thought of friends and family quizzing him on whatever subject matter they think a 7-year-old should know about, and him answering, "Um.....".

For Now:

I am happy that my son is not crying everyday.  I am relieved that no longer asks, "So, we have to sit in school for years and years and then go to a job that we hate?  That's life??"  I am overjoyed that we can  go the library or museum or theatre or zoo as many times as we want to, and that we can talk about why leaves turn color and why seasons have distinct smells, and watch National Geographic documentaries at 10:00 a.m.  I love that he can go to the bathroom or drink water when he needs to.

I love that I get to be with my son, and that we can learn together.  For now, that's more than good enough.  :)

¡Que te Mueve!

*******Another post originally written back in October of 2013********

Twelve hours have now passed since I did my second Zumba workout within as many consecutive days, and there is not enough Aspercreme in all of Texas to relieve the pain in my calves and thighs.

On the bright side, I slept the whole night through last night and woke up feeling rested for the first time in quite a few months.  Also, I feel cheerier.  Almost sprightly!  Okay, not sprightly.  Not yet, anyway.  But chipper.  Yes, chipper is a good word to describe my mood both today and yesterday, after having dripped about two gallons of sweat and negative energy from my bad ass self.

It's all part of the master plan.  The release of the slim, sexy lady.  She's hiding within me and she has been dying to get out.  She WILL come out, and soon.  And Zumba is going to play a huge role in executing this plan.

I wonder if yesterday's instructor used to be heavy, and released her inner sexy lady after getting healthy with Zumba?  My, my.  That woman was gyrating, shaking and twerking all over that studio's stage.  For a moment I thought I'd gone into the pole dancing class by mistake!  I expected Miley to come prancing in to join the class at any moment.  All joking aside, she was very energetic and a great instructor.  I liked her class because I could follow most of what she was doing and she didn't change things up every 5 seconds.

I was proud of myself yesterday, after having earned a thumbs up from the instructor for my salsa moves.  I credit this success to living room Zumba workouts, where Beto and the gang taught me the basics without any pressure or glances of disapproval if I slacked at times, or collapsed on the couch.  Yes, after yesterday's class I was feelin' pretty proud of myself.

Then today happened.

Different teacher.  She played awesome Latin music and displayed a wonderful, laid back attitude.  But every two steps was something different!  There were like 47 new steps in each 5-minute song, for pete's sake!  I imagined myself to be performing like Ethel and Lucy might in a ballet recital. Sometime around the 40 minute mark I began to feel a little pissed.  Where was that confidence from yesterday?!

But then I looked around at the dear ones in the studio, and was put at ease.  They weren't perfect, yet they were smiling, having a great time, and giving it their all.  A few of them sent some of those smiles my way.

I'll be going back tomorrow.

La Cucaracha

******This post is from October 2013, taken from my other blog "Melo Out With Me" and pasted here******

Turns out there are cockroaches the size of my head in here in Texas.  Okay, maybe not that big, but a couple of hours ago I'd have sworn otherwise.  Does anyone remember those Presidents Tests for gym class back in the 80's?  If there was a test for high jumping I'd have passed it and set a record, for the way I reacted tonight when confronted with the biggest friggin' cockroach this Minnesota native has ever seen.  In the bathroom of our master bedroom, no less.

I lose out on the Mom of the Year Award tonight for having made my son cry with my screams.  Hopefully the therapy won't cost him too much when that memory catches up with him 15 years from now.

It's karma.  Last night I was feeling really cocky (no wordgamey-punny thing intended) when we got home from our homeschooling meet up, where we met at a park and learned about spiders and scorpions, and then went and actually sought them out on an evening (dark) hike in the park.  It turns out there's this neat little trick where you can use a flashlight to see the gazillion pairs of spider eyes looking back at you as you stroll through the peaceful park under the moonlit sky.  Someone found a scorpion with their black light and I boldly got within 2 feet of the creature as it crawled around on the expert's (aka crazily brave bug guy's) hand.  I went home feeling like I could do this thing.  Texas bugs weren't gonna get the best of me!

Twenty-four hours later I was a quivering, blubbering, freaked out mess.  In front of my 7-year-old son.

Dropping my husband off earlier at the truck yard for another OTR trip did not help my anxiety.  Nor the fact that today was the first day that I felt truly homesick.  But we've been planning this move for years, and we've finally made the dream a reality.

We can check off the biggest box; we've snuck out of MN just before the cold winter hits and we've made it to balmy Texas.  Eventually we'll buy that piece of land in that "just right" spot and start building our adobe eco-efficient home, grow our own vegetables, and live in harmony with the earth - bugs, snakes, and all.

In the meantime, I'm going to be honest and say that I can't help but calm my nerves with wine, google the deadliest, most chemically laden poisons to rid this house of cockroaches, and sleep on the couch tonight.  Maybe I should try hypnosis.  I have seen quite a few metaphysical places here in San Antonio that have been beckoning to me to stop in.

Envisioning my Vision Board

A few years back, when The Secret was all the craze, I made a vision board.  I really enjoyed making it, because it really did get me to focus on my goals and desires.  I would use it quite frequently.  I always felt happy after focusing on those goals during a meditation or even just daydreaming.

I had a lot of stuff on that vision board.  One was a van, and that one came to fruition.  I was pretty pumped about it.

My son was a lot smaller at the time and I was working a full-time job on top of being a mom.  We were going through some really tough times with losing our home.  You can read all about that in my earlier posts.

Anyway, I kept up with studying about the Law of Attraction and I have had some really sweet things come into my life because of it. I'll have to post about that soon.  You'd be amazed at some of my stories.

But I sort of lost track of my vision board.  It got put into some boxes and now, 3 moves later, I'm not even sure if I have it anymore.

I may just make a new one, rather than search like mad for the other one.

After all, goals and dreams do change sometimes.

It's a cool, rainy Sunday today.  Perfect day to work on a vision board.

Maybe you could do one too?