Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sweetest girl

After a rapid decline, early this morning Hadley donned angel paws and chased her last mouse through the Pearly Gates and into the arms of Jesus, leaving a huge, gaping hole in our lives and one furry blanket totally underutilized.

I will miss her more than you can possibly know. She was, quite frankly, the best cat ever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

on waffles

My parents separated when I was twelve, my brother fifteen. My father got a one bedroom apartment on Tunlaw Road which was walnut spelled backwards. He would sleep on the sofa when I came to stay overnight once every other week. I would arrive just before bedtime and so nighttime was mundane, but morning brought exquisite joy. Freed from my mother's sensible constraints for my adolescent complexion, he would prepare waffles topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries spilling over the whole thing, alongside a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. It was my father's way of serving up love on a plate at every available opportunity, and I was grateful then and remain so now, eight and a half years after his death. The divorce broke our family in many, many ways, but in its wake I became acutely aware of my father's bottomless capacity for love and married a man with that exact quality as soon as I found him.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Whereas this week George has taken to leaning his full body weight onto me when we watch TV together

Whereas this morning Willy audibly tooted and immediately whipped his body into a tight curl and barked at his own bottom

Whereas yesterday my husband brought me a peppermint milkshake for no reason in particular

Whereas my older son twice today hugged me first

Whereas there was a flurry of activity at my birdfeeder this afternoon

Therefore I am happy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Make way for the good

I was leaving a local high school Monday when I heard someone run up behind me. I turned around to find a young lady I informally mentored at my favorite middle school. She threw her arms around me and told me she missed me so much, then excitedly said, "Guess what! I made straight As!"

This is a young lady I met when she was struggling socially and academically. This is a young lady who did not see her own shine, who did not believe she was smart, who did not think she was "as good as".

If you know me even a little, you know that tears sprang to my eyes. I told her that I had known she could do it and how proud of her I was that she had, then asked what her mother said. She beamed and said her mother sat down and cried.

Y'all, she looks so good. More importantly, she feels so good. And I could not stop smiling the rest of the day.

When I need a happy thought, I am going to pull that moment out. It still serves. Just typing it I am smiling anew.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Extra, extra

The good news is that I got to Baptist safely and found a parking space really close to the door.

The good news is that on ice days, many people cancel their appointments, so even though I got to the vascular lab early, so early, because I left myself enough time to drive safely, they saw me right away.

The good news is that the same thing happened when I went up to the fifth floor of Janeway, where the vascular surgeon is.

The good news is that she was very kind and took the time to explain.

The good news is that it is no worse than I thought. In one way it's actually better, but in another way it may be worse, so I am averaging those out and calling it even.

The good news is that I made it home safely, and because I took today off work and the schools are closed, now I get to hang out under a blanket on the sofa with my boys and play card games.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Apparently I am quite sick

I met with my neurologist yesterday, and it was made abundantly clear that I will not get well on my own.

I meet with a vascular surgeon Wednesday. She's supposed to be quite good.

I meet with a neurosurgeon, subspecialty vascular Friday. He's supposed to be the best.

I want to meet neither.

I want to curl up in a little ball, pull the covers over my head, and wake up five years old again in my pale blue room with the gingham curtains, safe and secure in the knowledge that my Mommy and Daddy are right downstairs and will come up immediately if I call out.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

0 axolotls, however

Yesterday marked seventeen years, two sons, four dogs, two cats, two hamsters, three mice, one snake, and sixteen fish. Would I do it again?

You betcha.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oh, Universe

2014 ended with a reminder from my arch-nemesis, the Universe, not to get comfortable. One "idiopathic intracranial hypertension" later, I am humbled and home.

I cede, Universe. I cede, and I proceed into 2015 meekly.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The decorations are gone and all the rich foods devoured

This is the sleepy week before life whirls to life again.

I do have to work, but I like my job so that is no hardship.

I also need make resolutions, but I enjoy the annual taking stock so that too is no hardship.

And that is all I have left to do in Twenty-Fourteen,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Seasonal Tradition List: #32, #33

32. Going to see our friend, Grady, dance in the Nutcracker at the Stevens Center.

33. Commemorating tradition #32 with the acquisition of a new nutcracker.

Check, check

Thursday, December 11, 2014

* But it rhymes with Meorge

In addition to my job, I keep busy a few other ways. I work out at the YWCA. I give tours one day a week at my favorite magnet school. And one afternoon a week after work I teach art at George's school.

Recently we've been finishing up the students' presents for their parents (or whomever). Because I was given free rein, the gifts are not Christmas themed or holiday themed or even winter themed, though they did build upon several concepts we worked on this fall.

However by necessity there was a formula, but within that formula existed a number of opportunities to pick Door A or Door B or even avoid the doors, and so I am delighted to be able to say that although clearly all part of the same project, every student's piece looks very different from every other student's.

One of those students, and I am not naming names*, chose to take his piece in a political direction. Specifically a "historical political satire" direction. He's been cracking up all afternoon as he tries to explain to me the subtle and overt layers of humor.

Wish me luck Monday when all the students give their pieces to their parents (or whomever) at the Christmas Musical Extravaganza!

The colors are distorted, but they are light gray and a deep purple, almost an eggplant. The drawings are black and white, much like George's worldviews.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I would like to shake his or her hand

The person at Food Lion charged with naming storebrand products, that is.

Having recently abandoned the now incredibly expensive, customer serviceless grocery* that is Lowes Foods, I have been visiting stores in much the way one visits churches, hoping to find The One --- a grocery home, if you will.

Thus I came across the work of the naming master at Food Lion, and over the last three weeks as I have shopped there, I have been repeatedly rewarded with new glimpses of his or her genius.

* Nigel Alston had a great column in the Winston-Salem Journal a few years back that has stuck with me. He told a story about a group of people told to serve themselves coffee in a coffee mug they selected from a bunch of different ones, how they all took some time picking a mug they felt best reflected their self-perception without any thought to how the mug would hold the same exact coffee, regardless. I feel like Lowes is trying to sell me a fancy mug, and snooker me into paying top dollar for it, when the coffee inside is still the same. Cheerios I buy at Lowes do not taste any different from Cheerios I buy at Food Lion or Teeter or anywhere else, so why on earth would I pay 30% more for them? If I wanted to pay Fresh Market prices, I would shop at Fresh Market, where the coffee at least matches that mug.

Friday, November 28, 2014