Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wanted: Editor

Wanted:  Editor for what will most likely be a poorly written, smallish novel, to be self published by author and PubIT! Barnes and Noble's ultra cool ebook publishing company.

Qualifications: Good speller, good with grammar, knows when to use then and when to use than, excellent with punctuation.  Ruthless, but not too ruthless.  Honest.  

Applicants who have either:  watched me grow up from a close distance, seen me give birth, know my whole family's birthdays, know my middle name and maiden name, know my sister's natural hair color, need two hands and two feet to count the number of years we've known each other, can't say anything that might hurt my feelings, etc, need not apply.  

Applicants who have backgrounds in English, creative writing, education, or just someone who just loves to read books and is one of those people who is constantly correcting people's grammar, will be considered.

This is a volunteer position.  That's right, no dough involved.  I have no income, people!  If I become, like my husband dreams, the next JK Rowling, I will most certainly buy my editor a country home in Europe.  Or a cabana in Fiji. Or an igloo in Alaska.  Whatever floats their boat.  Otherwise...yeah.  There's really nothing in it for you.  

Art work is being done by the lovely and talented Genesis Kohler.

Oh.  The book - which is a whole three pages at this point - is well...hmm...a genre for you...YA/Teen fantasy/gothic suspense?  Something like that?

All kidding aside, I do need someone I can email chunks to who will indulgently delete excess comas and tell me I have three characters named Bob.  Or no characters named Bob and a character named Bob is needed.  Those kind of things.  I'm a pretty good speller, but I tend to throw in extra punctuation in the defense that it's like chocolate;  if a little is good, more must be better.  

Also I need that someone to tell me I am terrible and to take up underwater basket weaving immediately.

In fact, I think I'll just tell myself that and save you the trouble.  This whole book idea is silly.  Nevermind.

No, wait!  Nevermind the nevermind.

I need someone to tell me that never mind is actually two words.  I'm desperate without you, o editor mine.

And if no one volunteers I have several people in mind, so don't make me actually have to ask you personally and get shot down.  Let's save the rejection for when the thing is actually published, OK? OK.

I'm too scared to hit the Publish Post button.  You all are gonna keep me accountable for this whole novel thing, aren't you?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nothing much is happening these days so I'm treating this blog more like a diary.  

Dear diary...nothing much is happening these days.

Note:  when I was about my daughter Anna's age my diary was name DeeDee.  I thought that was an unbelievably lovely and grown up and sophisticated name.  I also remember very suddenly at this very moment a moment of Who's The Boss?  where Sam had a friend who wanted to change her name to Vivian.  Sam said why?  She said dreamily, Isn't it obvious?  Sorry.  Sometimes I have random flashbacks of episodes of Who's The Boss.  Actually, it may have been Full House.

Last week there were all sorts of job prospects happenin.'  This week:  nothing.  A void of internet emptiness and despair.  Being unemployed and living with family alternates between chaos and boredom.  It's like a lovely vacation ... that doesn't end.  It was wonderful of my in-laws to thoughtfully pick out a home in a subdivision with a pool, ten years ago when they moved here.    It's like they knew - instinctively knew - that somehow at least one of their six children would move back in with his spouse and three kids.  They're thoughtful and prophetic people like that!  So as much as I despise pools (the bathing suits!  the pee!  the loud small humans! the deep water that could harbor sharks!) we have spent so much time there my children look like I kidnapped them from Mexico.  Their tan lines are adorable, especially Gianni's whose white little bottom peeks out from beneath his Star Wars swim trunks.  I, on the other hand, have a lovely burn on the backs of my thighs (i.e. tushy) and it now hurts to sit down.  Alas.  I was going for Bronze Amazon Goddess when I laid out with my SPF 4 Banana Boat tanning oil and got immersed in a Dean Koontz Frankenstein novel.  They just don't make SPF 4 like they used to.

Frankenstein is another one of those words that the ol' I before E except after C rule doesn't apply. Is there a second verse to that totally errant expression? Or does it just not apply when the word is ... German?  

It's actually good I have so much time on my hands;  I obviously have been philosophizing quite a bit.  

I have to go now because I'm making my father in law watch Runaway Jury.  I'm hoping the ending surprises him but I don't think it will considering the last movie I forced him to watch was The Usual Suspects and he totally figured out the ending before it happened!  I mean, who does that?  No one knows that little ol' lame Verbal Kent played by little ol' Kevin Spacey is REALLY Keyser Soze!!!!  Umm, spoiler alert.  But it's like 15 years old, so if you haven't seen it yet, you ain't going to.  I heart movies with shocking endings.  The Others and Arlington Road, two of my other favorites.

Signing off, dear diary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Mommies Would Be Good Spies

Mommies the world over would be excellent in espionage.  I have given this a lot of thought and I think the C.I.A. should hire us.  Of course we'd have to have Spy Names, like Scully, or Agent 99, or something like that.  Give it some thought.  I'll be Tutu.  I'll have a pointe shoe phone.

Reasons any secret government agency should hire moms immediately:

1.  We have amazingly high pain tolerance.  Pretty sure Pierce Bronson couldn't foster a human child inside his body and then expel it - either by hacking it out with a carving knife in an operating room or by pushing it out through his nether regions.  I am also fairy certain he would not make it through the first two weeks of breastfeeding without a lot of sobbing.

2.  We have perfected stealth.  Mommies are sneaky little women.  Take nap time:  whether it's a brand new babe or one of the toddling variety, we can hold our breath for most of eternity and then maneuver that little bumpkin to his crib or bed without waking him.  By the way, all cribs and toddler beds were made by The Enemy and were designed to creak if you so much as look at them.  This involves a highly intricate dance that is similar to Ethan Hawke (right Ethan?  Wrong Ethan?  Thinking of Mission Impossible Ethan, not Uma Thuman's ex Ethan)  suspended from the ceiling.

3.  We can go days without eating.  By the time the food is prepared and on the table, little Emily wants a drink, little George has pooped his pants, little Trixie has spit up, and when you've dealt with all that, there isn't any food left.

4.  We can go a long time without sleep.  Approximately 18 years.

5.  We are adept at cleaning up bodily fluids.

6.  Nothing scares us.  We have seen it all.

7.  We can't be broken through torture.  If we can handle upteen viewings of Barney, we can handle water-boarding.

8.  We are masters of disguise.  Why, you'd hardly recognize me from the 19 year old hottie I used to be now that I've got my pair of Mom Jeans.

Join me!  Today the blogging world...tomorrow the world.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Village Raised Children Part 2

Evidently I offended some with the post regarding children's church classes/youth groups.  I feel a need to defend myself, explain myself, and also point out that this is a blog.  It's not the inspired word of God, it's not a how-to manual for raising children, and it is not ever something I write in order to encourage debates and arguments and accusations.

Let me clarify some points I made in the first article.  Everything I wrote was about ME.  YOU - whomever you are - were never mentioned.  Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, was entirely coincidental.  I am sorry if anyone felt judged.  You are free to raise your child any which way you like, and that was actually the point of the post;  please don't frown on me if I choose to have my children sit with me, and I certainly will do the same for you.  I simply found that movie quite well documented, well researched, and thought provoking.  I was only sharing that with you in case you were interested.  If you never rent the movie, roll your eyes at me, and adore you youth group services, that's wonderful.  

I love, adore, and covet your comments and emails concerning the blog.  However, I avoid conflict like the plague.  If you strongly disagree with something, that's peachy keen.  Please do me the service of saying so nicely and move on!  I don't enjoy debates and forums for people to air their opinions. Some people like that very much - I am not one of those people.

I realize that in itself sounds dumb, but I have been through an emotional wringer the likes of which no one can understand, this year.  This blog is a way to organize my thoughts, share things I've been thinking about and going through, and just stay in touch.  There's nothing more to it.

I consider myself a very non-judgmental person.  I have friends of all creeds, colors, religions, schooling opinions, etc.  I may have my soap boxes and occasionally I like to share them.  It's my blog.  I can do that.  But I don't have the energy or emotional well being to be accused of anything right now, OK?  Whether your children go off to junior church or not, that's up to you as the parent.  That was and continues to be, my whole point.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My husband told me yesterday he was going to lock me in our room with a glass of wine and a box of Cheezits and not let me out until I blogged about "something funny."  Or maybe it was a box of wine and a glass of Cheezits.  Whatever.  Let's not split hairs.

Is he supportive or just plain abusive?

Three reasons why I haven't been able to blog about anything funny lately:
1.  Life is not super dooper amusing right now.
2.  I'm still stinging from getting slapped down from my last blogging adventure.
3.  I can't think of anything to write.

What IS funny:  I'm writing this on a mattress on the floor of my in-law's house, with a large Care-Bear blanket.  In the attempt to make our new digs more romantic, we re-named the yellow one after Marvin Gaye and call him Let's-Get-It-On Bear.

That was so inappropriate.
But sort of funny.

A somewhat funny conversation I had not ten minutes ago with Moose:

Him:  Mom, why we not live in Michigan anymore?  (Stop judging his grammar, he's three, you monster).

Me:  Because we were fired by a bunch of holier-than-thou turkeys who have no sense of humor.

Not really.  I only thought that.  What I said was, my heart in my throat, feeling like my poor little pooky bear is scarred beyond belief and the load of guilt I feel for ruining his life weighs on me like a freight train,
'Because we just don't live there anymore...that's why....want some ice cream?  Or a pony?'

Not really.  I didn't say that either.  But I did ask him what he missed the most, stealing myself for the replies I thought I'd get of the big brothers we left behind, the friends, the house, the tractor...

Him:  I just REALLY miss the XBox.

Shallow, callous, or merely a realist?  You decide.

It is really nice to be back in the West.  I missed mountains frantically.  I love mountains.  We even have a volcano here.  It still has snow on it.  Hardly surprising since Mike and I are single handedly responsible for global climate change.  Al Gore should probably just draw and quarter us right now and save the planet.  The whales.  The spotted owls.

There are job prospects cookin.  Not wanting to jinx a single one, I am not telling you what they are.  Sorry.  Feeling superstitious.  Or fretful.  Or something.

See?  I'm not funny these days.  My funny bone is broken.  Give me topics, I shall try to oblige.  I have time.

In the meantime, until you topic spam me, I am sipping on wine, munching on Cheezits and hulu-ing dance shows.  Because in this time of unemployment, it's the responsible thing to do.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Village Raised Children

I watched a very interesting documentary with my hubby today (leave a comment and I'll send you the link if you like.   It's a free download).  It certainly got me to thinking and feeling almost validated in my thoughts as a parent, especially as a Christian parent.  If you don't homeschool, feel free to skip this post.  If you aren't Christian, feel free to skip this post.  If you want to stick around and have enough confidence in your choices and won't feel attacked by me, your friendly local blogger, feel free to do so while I ramble.  

First of all, I didn't grow up going to youth group.  The churches we attended - when we weren't burnt out on religion altogether - were too small for youth groups or Sunday School or age segregated classes.  This meant my sister and I sat through sermon after sermon with our parents.   


We were occasionally bored.

Occasionally though, let's be honest, so were Mom and Dad.

We learned to read music and sing parts.

We heard about theology and religion and history.  Hellfire and brimstone.  Heaven and hell.

If we misbehaved, Mom gave us a glare that could melt a glacier.  And we learned the meaning of repentance. 

We learned to take notes.  They may have had a heck of a lot of doodles, but no matter.

When I had my first baby, I felt incredibly pressured to drop her off at the church nursery INSTANTLY.  I wasn't even positive the umbilical cord had been snipped yet, and some helpful usher was pressuring me to take her to the nursery.  The goal of all us misguided mommies seemed to be whose baby could make it through the whole service without crying.  And if they did cry, we were encouraged to leave them anyway and let them cry it out.  We were raising kids God's way, don't you know.  

Oddly enough, God never sanctioned youth groups.  Nor Sunday School.  He didn't open your womb only to hand your children off to some youth pastor to disciple.  He gave them to YOU.

A few years later, in the same church, the congregation decided to allow the children into service  for the first half hour or so, up until communion.  The ruckus it raised was a little bit funny, a little bit not.  I was a staunch and stubborn supporter of this new movement.  I had a 4 year old and a 3 year old.  Or maybe they were 3 and 2.  No matter.  They were young, sassy, wild, hungry, barely potty trained, and they would try the patience of a saint on every Lord's day.  My husband was zero help; he was a music leader so he pretty much abandoned me a full hour before service began and then faded into the crowd never to be seen until I met up with him in the parking lot with two crying munchkins, three hours later.  But in spite of that, I was absolutely determined that I could train these two 24 inch terrorists (I'm kidding, they were good girls for the most part) to sit still and be respectful.  There may have been some bribery.  Some glares.  Some whispered threats.  Some grabbing my their skinny elbows as they tried to skidaddle under the pews to freedom.  It was exhausting, and no I didn't get much of anything out of the service.  I hate this, the women of the church were saying, frustrated and angry, I can't take communion with my two year old crawling all over me!  I need my kids to be away from me during church!

Eventually the throng won out, and age segregated church classes resumed.  Eventually we left that church, but found more of the same elsewhere.  Cora has always loved any kind of organized (or unorganized) groups, so she cheerfully will join whatever, whenever.  Anna...not so much until she was five, then she became the same way.  Gianni hates, loathes, despises, church nurseries/classes.  You can bribe him, you can threaten him, you can peer pressure him, he will not go nine times out of ten.  And I don't make him.  This causes me to be frowned upon.  I'm sure I'm the mom that the church staff sighs at and throws up their hands concerning.  I'm sure they feel I need to show him some tough love and force him to conform.  I can't count the number of times a helpful member points me towards the nursery.  But I'm still stubborn and while I might give him the option, I don't make him go.  Because you can look up "youth group" in the concordance all you want - it's not in there.  

The beauty of God and His word and His church should be that of diversity.  It should be elderly mixed with babies  (don't they gravitate towards each other anyway?)  It should black mixed with white.  Old with young.  Teenagers with toddlers.  We shouldn't separate into segregated classes and forums and workshops and shuffle our young around, never to be seen or heard.  The job of teaching my children - whether it's reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic, or the Word of God - falls on ME.  It doesn't fall on you.  It's nice of you to want to help and I really do appreciate your heart, but  it is my responsibility.  I don't always love it.  I don't always LIKE it.  There are times I want you to take it off my plate.  But it's my plate.  These little gifts that God gave me are mine, mine, mine.  Mine to shape and mold.  I want to be the one to tell them...whatever it is they need to hear.  No one loves them more than I do.  No one knows them inside and out like I do.  No one wants what is best for them the way I do.  

That's why I won't send Moose to class.  That's why I am seriously not allowing the girls to go anymore either.  That's why we want to get back to a church that God invented and created, not atheistic philosophers who leaned very heavily towards socialism and communism.  Their children were their business and their responsibility.

Mine are mine.  And you can't have them.

Well, OK, when they get to calculus and geometry you can have them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bday Pics

Cora and a new buddy and some weird toddler we found.

                             A gift to hang on her bedroom wall, should she ever get a bedroom!

                         C and Great Gramma Nancy.  Can you see the Italian resemblance?

Party crasher.  We fed him cake and suckers and soda and then sent him home to his momma.                                            
                                                        Wait! That'd be me.  Sigh.

                                                                 C and her Papa.

Umm.  Yeah.  Party guests.  Never seen them before in my life.

Her.  Me.

Cora is eleven

My little babycakes is eleven today.  I will save you all the whining, sobbing, and melodramatic antics that I usually perform on these birthdays and just say,

Happy birthday, little girl of mine.

You're spunky, fearless, argumentative, ornery, smart, not graceful, sassy, snuggly, loyal, fierce, hungry, silly, funny, huggable, ridiculous, loving.

Give me back my shoes and stop getting taller immediately.

Thank you.

And have fun fishing today.  I wuv you. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Memoirs of a Idaho Girl

I was driving in Boise today, cruising down the Flying Y, mentally pointing out sites to myself.  I've lived in a few places, a smattering of towns, a handful of states, but I think Boise will always feel like home to me.  This is where I got my first "real" job, at the age of 16 as a waitress at Mariott Catering at Boise State University.  I was a total country, small town girl, who was so naive about life that when a college boy asked her out, she completely panicked and used to hide behind the coffee urns when she saw him coming.  He sported a mullet and because I wasn't even sure what he was asking, I accidentally said yes.  My boss, who thought I was adorably innocent, was looking out for me and used to yell at him,  'she's sixteen, you idiot!'  I managed to avoid him until he cornered me in a stairwell one day and then I nervously "dumped him."  He probably thought I was a big flirt.  I drove a two toned beat up Subaru that you could hear coming several blocks away, and I spent all my free time - when I wasn't dancing, rehearsing, or working - at coffee shops with my teenage friends.  There was Molly, my free spirited bohemian friend who had talent oozing out of her ears (she now lives in Paris), Sarah, my fellow homeschooled friend who always made me laugh because she cried at every movie she ever saw, Jenevieve, my other homeschooled friend who would drive my car for me while I braided my hair and put on makeup, Kelli, who looked younger than all of us but was actually in her twenties (which was soooooo extremely old at the time), Naomi, our wise friend who never steered us wrong.  It was a fun group.  Brittani was out of our league because she was actually a company dancer while we were lowly apprentices, but I always loved her because she knew all our names and didn't get all snooty with us like the other soloists did.  I still am annoyed at a certain company dancer who taught a rehearsal one day when the ballet professor was out and she burst out laughing when someone said my name and she said, 'Oh my gosh!  How do you even know those kids names?'  Ummm, I don't know, we only spend 25 hours a week in the same tiny dance studio together...I only shadow your every step as your understudy, step in for you when you're sick....  I think I have issues letting go.

I met a whole other group of friends when I turned eighteen/nineteen.  I met Mike that year and fell in love (awwww!).  I started working at dance studios and Moxie Java.  My sister moved away to join the Sacramento Ballet.  We planned a wedding.

We lived in numerous apartments/duplexes/houses.  We went by our foreclosed home this week and took out the fridge and the curtains.  That was bittersweet.  I liked that house, no matter how many times y'all had to point out how it faced the wrong direction and had a bright blue roof and was in a crime ridden neighborhood!  Any old house can face the correct direction!  And what's wrong with blue?  It makes an excellent marker if you are lost!  And ... there may in fact have been quite a bit of crime.

It may be shallow, but I get a little thrill knowing I am back in the land of Ross, Grocery Outlets, Wincos, and the best thrift shops.

I know all the streets and I know how to get around.  I still run into people I know.  This post isn't funny or deep or anything interesting unless you're me.  But I am feeling sentimental and nostalgic today.  Indulge me.  Eventually, I'll get back to myself.  First I have to quit replaying the last month over and over in my head, and dreaming at night of things that happened in Michigan.  Trying not to regret ever going there, and yet if we didn't, we'd still be in Boise, dreaming of things that we want to may not have turned out the way I wanted, but at least we DID it.  Now it's time to put down roots somewhere and dig ourselves a nice little rut.  Give my kids somewhere to build their own memories and friends to think about when they are 33.  I wonder what they will remember in twenty years?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Classifieds - Employment

Employment opportunities:

Opera singing/tractor driving/German and Italian speaking/preacher/pharmaceutical sales rep/technological genius/romantic/collector of useless trivia/pyromaniac/football coach/guitar player/never-been-beat arm wrestler looking for work.  College graduate ($30,000 in Musical Performance degree student loan bills can be provided as proof upon request).  Cooks Italian food.  May or may not have mafia ties...forgettaboutit!  Can name any Star Trek episode within five seconds of stopping on that particular channel.  Easily memorizes movie quotes and '80s song lyrics.  Able to play any song on the guitar, providing there are no more than four chords.  Expert campfire starter.  Not opposed to jazz hands if the occasion calls for it.  Does impressions.  Will work for food.  And board.  Comes with wife (see below), three children, and a dog.  

Ballerina/barista/child birther/home chef/bibliophile/seamstress/writer looking for work.  Homeschool graduate (if she can find Mom's handmade diploma) '96.  Attended Boise State University as a non-degree seeking student for four years because she was too dimwitted to realize she'd be there for four years and therefore could have gotten a degree for all her hard work.  Makes excellent espresso drinks.  In fact, they could probably make you cry, they're that sublime.  Able to French braid small girl's hair in record time and with excellent results.  Impeccable chauffeuring record.  Has successfully potty trained three humans, unless you count the unfortunate episode yesterday where there may or may not have been human fecal substances in Aunt Lary's flowers.  Ahem.  Fierce book collector/rearranger.  Completely useless in any field that may involve a number of any kind.  Knows Pilates, but proof of that knowledge may involve gasping desperately for oxygen.  Expert shopper.  Blogs in a witty manner that will ultimately cause you to fire her posthaste.  Would prefer employment in used bookstore vineyard if possible.  Doesn't know a Cab Sav from a Sangiovese but would really enjoy learning.  Needs time off frequently for snuggles with children, kisses with husband, pasta with friends, and antique books that beg to be read.  Comes with one spouse (see above), three children, and a dog.  Dog does all his own stunts.  

Contact below for immediate interviews.