Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My first thought this morning

Once the haze left-over from dreamland had burned off, these words echoed in the back of my mind.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing 
breathing any -- lifted from the no 
of allnothing -- human merely being 
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
- e.e. cummings

So, even though I have a head-cold and I feel like I'm suffocating (be it from the inversion or the stopped-up bronchials), I knew today couldn't be all that bad. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

I guess my feet know where they want me to go

So, yesterday Brent and I made a crock-pot full of stew to keep us eating healthy through the week. It's our favorite way to use our abundance of fresh vegetables. 

I don't know what I did differently this time, maybe it was the cabbage . . . at any rate, I pulled the lid off the steaming crock-pot and I entered a memory. In that brief instance, I was transported to my great-grandfather's house in McGuireville, Arizona. I heard his homemade engines rhythmically working in the shop. I smelled the falling leaves from the huge trees outside, and I remembered visits with parents, siblings, cousins. In my memory, Grandpa always a big pot of stew or beans cooking slowly, waiting for us. I just hope it's something I can recreate again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

Unlike the Carpenters, rainy days never get me down. I love a good rain. I could sit by the open window and just listen to the gentle patter all day. As the rain cleanses the air and refreshes the land, I feel my soul being cleansed and refreshed. In my current residence, rain is more scarce than even the desert I grew up in. My husband laughs that I get so worked up about water falling from the sky. 

Because I live in a valley and we get all the bad air from the surrounding big cities and the big farms (which contribute a surprising amount to the smog), there are weeks where I live in perpetual haze. It's like a film covers everything, including your lungs. Once the rain knocks the oil and dust out of the air, though, you can literally see the difference. When the air is clean, you can actually see the mountains that are only about 20 miles away. (This may sound like a joke, but I kid not. I count it a good day when I can see those mountains). Living here has really made me appreciate clean air all the more. 

I wish I could say that Mondays don't get me down, but that would be lying. Especially after working 9 hours on Saturday (when it was raining and windy and blissful outside and I had to miss it), I just feel like I haven't rested up enough to face another workweek. And yet, I'm so grateful that I have another workweek to face. One thing that has made this Sunday glorious is that I've had time to actually spend with my husband. Because we're on different schedules (as in, I work from 8-4:30 or so and he's in school during the day and working in the evening), it's been about 4 days since we've actually talked for more than 5 minutes over the phone on the lunch break. I missed him. 

We spent a lovely afternoon baking and making a stew to last us the week. I love working in the kitchen with him. It's time to talk, to connect, and to work together. It's been such a blessing that thus far he hasn't had to work on Sundays this semester. It makes all the difference in the world. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a book and a cup of licorice tea waiting for me by the open window . . . 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Elvis Has Left The Building

Sometime in April of 2007, this car showed up at my apartment complex. It sat in front of the manager's office for 2 days or so until a lovely little ticket appeared on its windshield. Then, it somehow managed to move itself over to the area where I park my car. And it sat. For at least 8 months. And never moved. 
Normally, you would hardly notice if a car moved or not, but this one was hard to ignore. I've watched it collect dust, and leak oil, and almost rust before my eyes. I thought it surprising that such an individual car wouldn't budge for so long. Especially since it had a car-seat inside, and a little backpack, and little girl shoes. 

So, today when I got home from work and saw only a large oil spot and dusty tire tracks leading away from where that car stood. It doesn't look like the car went willingly.To tell you the truth, I almost missed it. Almost. 

You can see why:

Talk about your fixer-upper. Words cannot describe the hideousness of this car. I don't know where it's gone to, but I say good riddance. Thank you for leaving, Car. Thank you very much.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You don't talk back to a rooster

I've never considered myself a night-owl. Once 10:00 PM hits, I'm usually a goner. I had roommates get a kick out of this. It's not like I just get tired, it's like I lose the ability to function and will fall asleep where I am, regardless of the surrounding commotion. I've been known to just drift out of conversation when it gets too late. Brent says he can tell when it's after 10:30 or 11:00 because I get cheeky, but most of the time I just can't help it. The coach may turn into a pumpkin at midnight, but my filters turn off by 11. Brent's getting to the point where he can tell when I'm not being serious and I just need to go to bed. Usually. 

Conversely, an ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon. It always has been for me and it always will be. I'm a morning person. That's my productive time, and I'm happiest tackling my to-do list before 1:00 PM. True, it's as hard for me to get out of bed some mornings as would a "normal human being" (Brent's words, not mine), but once I'm up, I can usually get going in no time. 

My dear, sweet husband is not a morning person at all. I was worried about this initially. How could we ever function together? It's been an adjustment, for sure. Brent's had to learn how to handle cheekiness and I've learned that I can't have a real conversation with Brent until about noon, and we get by okay. 

That said, I dread the mornings when I have to wake Brent up to, say, get ready for church. This morning was no exception. I let him sleep as long as the clock would allow, and I gingerly laid down next to him about 8:15 and said, "Brent, love, it's time to get up for Church." And then, dear reader, he growled at me. I've never heard him so mad. He literally growled at me and then rolled over. 

Not to be deterred (because I have this irrational fear of being late for anything), I gently stroked his hair and told him I was sorry and that it really was time to get up. He growled again, so I lovingly asked, "What's wrong, honey?"

To which he replied," Ugh, you ruined my game!" 

"What?," I asked, bewildered. 

"You just ruined my game!," says my suddenly petulant husband. 

"I'm sorry, honey, but I just said it's time to get up so we can get ready for Church."

"No, you just said, 'no jumping,' and threw off my whole game!"

I had to stifle my laughter as I snuck out of the room to blow-dry my hair. I figured I'd try it again in a couple of minutes. Sure enough, after some more gentle prodding, Brent was up and getting ready for Church. We were only 5 minutes late. 

In Brent's defense, we were up super late last night cleaning up after his sister's wedding reception. It was beautiful but a lot of work. I'm grateful for everyone who was good enough to stay until the job was done. Still, I guess I'll leave the alarm clock to the job of waking up my husband. 

Head, shoulders, knees and toes

When I first found out that I'd have to be taking some induced time off from work, I was worried that I'd be bored, that I wouldn't feel like I was accomplishing anything. That thought lasted about 2 seconds. Turns out, then only thing I really missed (or thought I missed) was the paycheck. Even without the 8 to 5 obligation, I can find a myriad of ways to use my time and still feel like I should be doing more. 

So, it's nice to be back to work and not feel like I'm totally slacking for not getting everything on my to-do list done everyday. I just need to learn to make shorter lists. 

I also learned this week, as I've been back to work for the first time in 7 weeks (I'm so grateful for tender mercies!), that I missed a lot more than the paycheck. Like my co-workers, and patient interaction, and . . . paperwork? No, I'm not THAT sad of a case. But, I did miss doing my job. I also missed stories like this one:

Speech therapist: "Mr. W., you need to put your oxygen back in your nose."
Mr. W.: Looking all over his wheelchair for the oxygen tube that is dangling just under his nose.

Speech therapist: "No, Mr. W., just put it back in your nose."
Mr. W.: Pulling at cords and trying to find the oxygen tubing, to no avail.

Speech therapist: "It's right above your mouth"
Mr. W.: "I KNOW where my NOSE is!"


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Under Construction

Please excuse my mess. I'm trying out some new things and this page my look funny for awhile. Sorry!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Can we do this again?

This has been Brent's favorite and most oft-repeated phrase to me within the last few weeks. Surprisingly, it it usually refers to some culinary pursuit. Brent, easily in competition for biggest sweet tooth EVER, bought me a candy thermometer for Christmas. So, I'm not surprised within the first week home, he wanted to make taffy. The sticky endeavor was fun, mostly because of the boyish smile I faced every time I looked up from the confectionary concoction coating my fingers. 

Today's endeavor was homemade bread. It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. Brent's told me that his new favorite phrase of mine is, "yeah, we can make that." Honestly though, who could deny this face?