Friday, June 30, 2006

recycled poetry


It is on nights like this, with my belly full
and my chest empty, that the moon points east
to her darkened half, and I ache to follow her arc
into the nothingness,

because I understand the void.

Tagged: , , , ,

What you don't know can kill you

Want to know how much we don't know about Congenital Heart Defects?

Yesterday, a 12 year old boy died at Disney -MGM in Florida. The first reaction was that his death was caused by the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. After an autopsey, they discovered that this boy had an undetected congenital heart defect. He was TWELVE and no one even knew he had a CHD, until it was too late.

Here are the CNN stories

from Yesterday (story) and (video)
follow up from Today (story)

And from what I've been told (but haven't found the story yet) another child with undetected CHD died at Disney-MGM just last month.


I woke up to a broken driveshaft,
crossed eyes and a backache --
hair in my face and my husband laughing.

Finished lunch with a hundred dollar mechanic bill
and thirty bucks in the bank.

Stepped out of a shower of dead-son tears
into rescheduled orthodontic appointments
and broken braces. Then, I tripped over
a box of life is good,
and it is.

Yep. Every bit of it's true. The driveshaft fell out from under the work truck this morning, right after Scott overslept and missed Kassi's orthodontic appointment. Scott woke me up to share those tidbits of joy, meanwhile laughing at my rat's nest of in-my-face hair. My back was killing me, and I was unamused. The driveshaft was finished up around 1 o'clock, cost us a little over a hundred bucks, and we had $30 in the bank after we paid it. Then I hopped in the shower thinking the hot water would help the back, but I'm notorious for falling apart in the shower, and this afternoon was no exception. Got out, rescheduled Kassi's appointment (she has a broken bracket) and then received my b-day present from Erin. One bad ass (super soft, personality-perfect) tshirt, and one huge coffee mug, both from a company called "Life is Good." And yes, even through the bullshit of life, it is good. Especially when you get really cool stuff :)

Thanks Erin!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

the list grows

Nova, Alexis, Chloe, Zoe, Samuel, Jacob, Zev, Ethan, Colin, Jack... now Corbin and Jake, and how about Logan?

I've been watching the updates on 2 heart babies in Michigan: Corbin and Jake. They both passed away in the same hospital within the last 12 or so hours. There's another whose blog I'm watching and commenting on as they go through their son's surgery, his name is Logan. They've not updated in 2 days. I'm hoping that no news is good news, but in truth, his surgery was somewhat emergent, which means he was weaker than normal to begin with, and I'm worried. I can't help but think that my own experiences have effected how I react to others' situations, that I overreact and worry too much, that I become overly emotionally involved. Not that it matters why really, I'm all tied up in these families' stories, and I sincerely hope that my "vibes" are getting through to them all tonight.

It's days like this when I realize all over again how desperately we need more funding and research. I have direct knowledge of and/or contact with at least 10 families who've lost children to a congenital heart defect in the last 6 months or so. It's just so unfair that so many families have to lose their children. 21st century United States, and our children are dying left and right because we don't know how to save them.

La escuela de los pendejos

I am so pissed off right now! Around the middle of the school year we received a letter from the Union County Board of Education, informing us that Brendon would be reassigned to a new school for the 2006-2007 school year. We were informed that we would need to provide the necessary information and fill out all required enrollment forms in said school before the 06/07 year started.

I did nothing for months, because I wanted to give myself some time to research the new school, and see what options were available if I wasn't happy with this reassignment. I was more than happy to see that he'd be moved from the school he was attending, I've hated it from day one, when Tommy was going there, but I figured with things being shuffled around, this would be my opportunity to put him somewhere that I thought he and I would be better off.

In the end, I decided that the school they'd assigned him to would be the best bet, aside from private school, which I can't afford. It's a brand new school, the facilities are top of the line, the neighborhood is better than the one where he was going before. It was a county school, but not a city school. The parent teacher ratio was better, many of the teachers were from surrounding counties, not ones that had been entrenched in the Union County system for decades, and the overall population was more balanced, as far as minorities vs non-minority students. I thought perhaps, in this new school, I stood a chance of getting newsletters, field trip forms etc in English (Seriously, the school he was attending was so imbalanced that I often got such paperwork in Spanish only.)

So I went Monday, while filling out the paperwork for Kassi and Kory to change to their new county-mandated schools, and enrolled Brendon in this new school.

Today's mail includes a letter from the Union County Public Schools that says:
On November 22, 2005, the Union County Board of Education approved a plan to reassign certain (insert old school name) Elementary School students to (insert NEW school name) Elementary School. The board amended that decision on June 6, 2006 when it redistricted some of these students back to (Old) Elementary School for the 2006-2007 school year, and then to the new Elementary at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year. The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your child is among those students who will be reassigned to (Old) Elementary School at the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year...
What the fuck!? The poor kid has been in a tizzy about changing schools - he's painfully shy and not comfortable in new social situations anyway. I spent twice as much time (and gas) on the running back and forth between these 2 schools to get him enrolled. I've already filled out all the transfer forms and spent an hour in the friggin office of the new school filling out new enrollment forms. And then they send me a letter to tell me they've changed their friggin' minds!? And to top it off, of all those people I talked to at both schools, no one could mention that this had all changed again three weeks ago?!

I'd love to know who had their brain in their back pocket when they made up this whole damned plan. Oh and get this, the letter lists a name and telephone number to contact in case you need to speak to someone about the situation. I called. She's on vacation till July 10th. Impeccable timing, no?

So, uno ano mas a la escuela de los pendejos!

Thursday Thirteen 6/29/06

Thursday Thirteen

13 Grammatical/Typographical Errors that Burnt my Ass This Week:

1. Animal Cops: Houston - "The paleness in his mouth are from severe anemia..."

2. News 14 Carolina - Hundreds drown in North Carolina each year
"Identification of risk factors lead to prevention strategies."

3. - Tropical threat passes over the Carolinas coast
"A potential tropical depression moved inland over the Carolinas coast this afternoon near Morehead City..."

4. - New Orleans poor blacks charge racism over housing
"Ex-residents and housing officials are also at odds over whether the damage wrought by Katrina should be used as an opportunity to change and upgrade public housing or whether federal officials' primary duty is to repair what is left so former residents can return as soon as possible."

5. La - Senate Bill on Burning Flag Fails
"Unlike the flag burning in the late 1960s and early 1970s in opposition to the Vietnam War, recent episodes of flag desecration that recent episodes of flag desecration have been more half-witted than high-minded... "

6. - Police search for driver in hit-and-run
"Charlottte police were looking..."

7. - Nearly normal newlywed
"Kidman's wedding to was a rare tasteful moment in the tacky world of celebrity marriage..."

8. Yahoo News - Oracle of philanthropy
"In 2004, the latest year for which data exist..."

9. - Thursday on 6NEWS...
This month we saw quite a bit of rain, flooding homes and even some streets. But we all know that it can be even worse. Up to 200,000 people have been evacauted from their homes in Central New York.

10. - Fire ants aplenty after heavy rain
This piece is so badly written and rife with mistakes that it's simpler for me to just link to the story, and let you see what I mean! Pay special attention to the punctuation.

11. - Bush accuses some Democrats of surrender on Iraq
This one is a direct quote from President Bush: "Make no mistake about it, there is a group in the opposition party who are willing to retreat before the mission is done..."

12. - Chat show "The View" becomes daytime soap opera
Vieira left recently to take over from Katie Couric as co-host of NBC's top-rated "Today" show.

13. - Tiara Girls documents the struggles of several young women and their journeys to win what they believe is the most coveted sign of succcess - a beauty pageant crown.

it comes, and goes back

This is Alexis. It's been a long time since I posted her picture, if I ever did, I'm not at all sure I ever have, here anyway.

I got an email through one of the grief groups today that reminded me so much of how I felt and how I reacted to her death, that I had to go looking through her pictures and things. Truth is, I have thought a lot about her lately, but I haven't felt much about her. The pain has subsided over the years to something much smoother and Nova's death had been overwhelming most of my feelings about Alexis' death. It was even true the other night when we were rearranging. I moved her stuff without blinking, but his... I could barely look at it.

So today when I got that email, I was forced to mentally revisit that time in my life. I decided, after replying to her, that I needed to go look through her things. The first thing you see when you open her box is a lock of hair, just a puff of fuzz really. Like black feather down, so soft. I'll never get to feel Nova's, it was so short that the only way it could be held together was between 2 pieces of tape, completely encased.

Even going through her things, I cried about Nova.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

59 hours of radio silence

Yesterday was one hell of a busy day, and being the lazy mofo I've become lately, it pretty much wore me out. We got up and met with the lady from the AHA. She was very nice and offered all sorts of paperwork and posters and stuff to help us raise funds. She also gave us a prize for being "web wonders" which means that we've raised at least $300 via the website. She gave us this funky little CD case... if she only saw how often our CDs end up laying all over the house! We have about 10 CD cases, and they just never end up in any of them. She also gave us a bunch of American Heart Association highlighter markers, and a whole freakin roll of stickers. The kids loved them!

I guess she meets with all the team leaders in the walk, and one of the things she does is teach people how to personalize their page and how to use the website. She didn't have to do that with us, all that was already done, but she did tell us that she uses my page as an example when she teaches the Company Team Captains how to do it. How cool is that? Yup, made my day. I'm so totally the proud mommy, and was really happy that in some way, I was getting to "show him off."

When we got home, I piddled a while (took a nap) and then about noon we headed off to go to the kids' schools. They're all in new schools this year and I had to go and register them all. I actually had to go to 4 different schools, and spent all afternoon doing it. It pretty much sucked, but at least it's done now.

We came home and after dinner, Scott had one of his spells. I've never told you guys about Scott's spells have I? Every so often, every few months or so, something happens to him. It's actually very painful, and lasts several hours, sometimes days. Not sure exactly what causes it, but I wish I knew...

See every few months he gets this irresistable urge to rearrange the livingroom. Seriously. It drives me a little bit crazy, but it does give me the chance to clean those corners and places that don't ever see the light of day. Amazing what you find behind the couch. So anyway, we were doing that until like 1 in the morning, and weren't done when we finally quit and went to bed. The pain started when I woke up and couldn't move from helping him move that monster of an entertainment center.

I finally finished up this afternoon. It's amazing what a mess you can make when rearranging. It looks good though, and everything is all clean, even the knick-knacks and stuff. It gave me the chance to move some pictures around and put all of Nova's pictures and things with all of Alexis' things. See, we've had what we all call "Alexis' table" for years, with her picture and her book and memento box and stuff. Nova's things were in a different place, on a different table. Now they're all together, his and hers, on top of the entertainment unit. I still have to get his book made. I just haven't had the heart to do it yet. Just looking at his picture makes me cry. I'm ready for that point at which it gets "easier."

don't have the heart
broken hearted
breaks my heart
heart wrenching
from the bottom of my heart
with all my heart

They all sound very different lately than they used to.

Then today Scott also decided to replace a couple of lighting fixtures that either didn't work, or were just 1960s butt-ugly. The hall light outside our bathroom hadn't worked in months. It's a very dark hallway. I forgot what it looked like, and of course, with the light working again, I realize I need to do some cleaning in there too. Tomorrow. Procrastination is a specialty of mine. And I'm tired, moving that entertainment unit was no joke. It's like 6" tall and 8" long, and weighs about, oh I dunno, six thousand pounds.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Another blue puzzle piece: Tar Heel Tavern #70:
qualities of life

Another blue puzzle piece: Tar Heel Tavern #70:
qualities of life

Terror threat for Manhattan 6/29 - 7/4

I'm finding this more amusing than I can even explain... unless of course, it comes true, but hell, even then, they just keep changing the date, they might get it right eventually...

Busy busy bee

You know, I could pretend that I actually have a life, without even lying to you! I have plans for every weekend in July already, and for a week in August, and 4 days in September. Oy!

Here's how July lines up:
The 4th is my birthday - plans are to ignore the my part of that and celebrate Independence Day and the birthday of our country.
The 8th is Terra's birthday, so we'll be partying that day.
The 12th is Tommy's birthday, his party will be the weekend of the 15th.
The 22nd is my niece's baby shower.
The 30th is Bren's birthday, so we'll have his party that weekend.
Oh and School starts back for Bren on July 25th I think... or is it the 28th?

Then August/Septemberish:
My sister-in-law and her husband are planning to visit for a week in August, not sure which week yet.
The 15th is Kassi's birthday, so her birthday will be the previous weekend.

She and Kory go back to school on the 28th of August.

We'll be leaving late August 31st to go to Troy for Labor Day weekend. We plan to stop in and visit with Scott's friends on the way in, then spend a few days in Troy at the fair, so Scott can go to (maybe drive in) the demolition derby.

We'll leave Troy on Labor Day, September 4th, and stop in and see Doug and Laura on the way back - hoping still that J will magically be at D & L's when we are, and that somehow, somewhere during the weekend, I'll also get really lucky and see Erin.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ringing of the Bards!

Billy has done it again! He's devised yet another way to increase traffic to your poetry blog! He's tireless I tell ya! It's the Ringing of the Bards Poetry Carnival, and Billy is hosting the inaugural edition! Have a look, check out how many people he included!

How's it Hangin'?

So, I had a Zen moment watching the Japanese Beetles the other day as they devoured my lilies. I found some brilliantly poetic moment of enlightenment, a certain peace with the universe and all that it encompasses.

I got over it. I sprayed the piss out of those bastards with some sort of beetle spray. It's war. It's all very unZen. They will soon (hopefully) be very dead, pretty black-mother-of-pearl backs and all.

Funny moment of the day:
Bren goes in to bathroom to pee. He closes the door, and starts doing his business. Terra comes up with some can't-wait information that Bren absolutely must hear, and goes running in after him.

3 seconds later Terra comes running out saying, "Mommmm! Bennon have a hangin-down butt ting in hims pants! hahaha Dat Funny!"

Brendon comes out every shade of red imaginable. So many shades in fact that I decided to forego this prime opportunity to tease him, I mean, really. Even I couldn't be that mean. I imagine he'll start breaking the "no-locked-doors-in-my-house" rule very soon. And I'm thinking it may just be time to teach Terra the art of knocking and something about the difference between boys and girls now...

Diet Coke

Have you seen that Diet Coke commercial where the woman walks into a barbershop and has her hair all cut off? I think I'm going to do that. Seriously.

Ethnic Ambiguity

Ethnic Ambiguity

OK, I'm sitting here, doing nothing. Really, I'm doing many things, too many to actually be doing any of them. Browsing my bloglines, scanning my email, doing a little light-weight research on a particular CHD for another parent, you know, just hanging out, in the kneeling position ;) drinking coffee, basically uncommitted to any one activity.

So here's the thing, I'm also sort of watching TV. There's this show on the Style channel, called Sexiest. No idea who put it on this channel, when, or why, but there it is. Sexiest is apparently a countdown/showcase of the hottest 25 supermodels. I've never watched the Style channel, and I probably couldn't name one supermodel.

However, if I were to choose my Dream Woman, she'd be of latino descent. I've always admitted that, and the model that was on was latino, Brazilian, her name is Ana Beatriz Barros and obviously, she's gorgeous (hullo SUPERmodel) so, yes, I was watching. Anyway they'd show a few bathing suit shots, a runway strut, and a bit of an interview with her, or with someone who seemed to be 'evaluating" her.

One of those people said, "Brazilian women are hot. There's an ethnic ambiguity, you can't tell if they're Latin American, Native American, you can't tell if they're Indian, Caucasian or if they're Black..." (or some such thing) and went on to entail how this "ethnic ambiguity" made this model so much more desireable in the modeling business. Pissed me right off. First off, I think Latino women have a very distinct look, guess that's just me. Second of all, why didn't she just come right out and say, "We like our women to fit into a faceless mold and be completely unidentifiable, except by their measurements."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Promise of Light Publications Call for Submissions

I'm excited to announce that I've been invited to be co-editor at Promise of Light Publications, a new and upcoming publisher. Our mission, in the words of the creator and editor James Watkins, is as follows:
Our intent, as a publisher, is to publish nothing but poetry and prose
of the highest quality and literary standards. If it takes the reader on
a journey, touches their soul, activates their sympathetic nervous
systems, transports them to another place all while listening to the
rain, and the hum of the world fades into its background, this is
what we intend to publish.

Here at the site we intend to provide words, images, and sounds
to entice our readers', to enhance their experience in every sense.

This opportunity comes with the chance to work with some of my favorite people, namely James, Mary, and Dave. I'm really looking forward to working with them on some literary projects. There is already a Chapbook Competition, a Poetry Competition, a Poetry Magazine called "Flowers and Vortexes" and we're looking for submissions of high-quality Haiku and Tanka.

, , ,

The new chair, and sleep.

This pic is for Eve and Fineartist, who saw my post about this chair (that I got for health reasons) and voiced some confusion as to how, exactly, one would sit in it. This is how you sit in the chair, although you can also sit with your feet on the floor in front of the chair. It works, I'll tell ya that... I was in bed by 12:30 last night. I haven't even bothered trying to go to bed before about 3am in many months, and typically wasn't able to fall asleep until something more like 5am. My feet and legs didn't ache because there's no way for me to sit on them in this chair, and the restless leg syndrome didn't start up even once. It was beautiful to fall asleep so quickly, and stay asleep for so long. I slept 10 hours last night. I've been averaging 3-5.

I think most people would say that a new computer chair was a frivolous expenditure. For some, maybe it is. For me, this baby has worked a miracle. Like Ang says, sometimes it's the little things that make a difference. I don't do a lot of buying for myself, but this is one new thing I don't regret getting. I can honestly say it's improved my quality of life.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A new computer chair: so I can sleep

I have bad circulation. I always have. It isn't really a major issue or anything but it's why I'm always cold, and why I hate cold weather. It's why I wear a fleece housecoat even in July. If my feet get cold, they stay cold for days. To make things worse, I have a bad habit of sitting on my feet, which probably started out as a way to keep my feet warm, but has the side-effect of cutting off all circulation. It's such a habit, and I do it so constantly, that at the end of the night, my legs and feet ache from it. The aching causes my restless leg syndrome (which used to only show up when I was pregnant, but has turned into a nightly thing since I had my tubes tied) to start up, making sleep an impossibility. I haven't been to sleep at a decent hour in months. The whole thing has had me being a little obsessively aware of how often I sit in weird circulation-stopping foot-tingling positions, and how to change that habit.

I figured out that the only way I was going to ever sleep at night was this:
I can't sit on my feet in that seat! Right? My brother used to have one of these. I sat in it once. It was very comfortable, makes you sit in a better position as far as posture goes, and the height is adjustable giving me the chance to get at a better position for typing. See, sometimes my fingers, especially the last three on my left hand, go a little numb because of the chair height/wrist angle/circulation thing.

So today I got the damn chair, or one pretty much like this anyway... Office chairs are too g'damn expensive, for the record. But let me tell you, it beats the hell right out of a broken kitchen chair that sits too high, and it has a 3 year warranty. My feet and legs haven't been asleep once all day, they don't ache at all! My fingers are still numb but I think that's just going to be a point of my hand getting used to being in a better position.

So. Yay me! I have a new funky chair, and blood in my toes! Here's to hoping I can sleep now.

This is how well it worked out.
Wish I knew why these last couple days have been so much harder. It's been like it just happened. No dull throb of grief this, more the searing stab that sends that forlorn wail of disbelief rising up into my throat. I find myself with my hands at my mouth, as if I fear that it will unwittingly slip loose before I've had a chance to stop it. I go hours without speaking for fear of what might come out if I open my mouth. I think it would lead to a depth of hysteria that I might not ever find my way back from.

I know it sounds melodramatic, maybe even a little crazy. That's ok, maybe I'm both, at least lately. I think, sometimes, I'm losing my mind just a little.

The kids are pretty well stuck at $10 each. Looks like none of their teachers will be supporting their efforts. I've still not heard a peep from any of the radio stations, guess that's a no-go (x3). No word from the Moose Lodge or any of those organizations I've contacted either, but they tend to only have once-a-month meetings about these things, so I won't get too impatient just yet. No response from Dr. Erckman's office yet, which surprises me, honestly. It hasn't quite been a week since I contacted Dr. Watts at the Sanger Clinic, but today is his office day, so maybe I'll let myself hope..? That would be one hell of a cheerer-upper. C'monnnnnn Dr. Watts! I need a cheerer upper today.

Anyway, the total has been at $1545 for about 4 days now, with a team total of $1575. I'm pretty well on my way to my personal goal, a little over halfway to the team goal. I keep telling myself that there's still just short of 3 months to go, plenty of time, right?


We knew in the middle of the last school year that they'd redrawn the district lines which would mean that Brendon would be going to a different school next year. Yesterday we got mail stating the new districting means that Kory and Kassi would be going to a new school for the 2007-2008 school year. The letter gave us the opportunity to go ahead and change this year. Kory is transitioning from middle school to high school this year already, I don't see the point in having him go to 9th in new school, and 10th in another, so I suppose we'll be signing them up in the new school next week. It's a better school anyway, the one I went to actually, Sun Valley, so it's good news, if the influx of inner-city students doesn't dilute the quality. Anyway, the problem is that, because the early transfer is optional, there will be no transportation provided. We'll have to drive them in and pick them up. I'm hoping that the improvement in schools will be worth the expense and trouble. Anything is better than where they are. I think I'm afraid that what Sun Valley has become in the last... um, since I went there, will leave me disappointed. God knows I'm sincerely disappointed by all the other schools my kids have attended so far.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

For the 2nd 10th 100th 1000th time

I spent some time going through Nova's things tonight. His clothes and blankets and stuff. I'm keeping everything that was with him at the hospital, and a few outfits, and the rest is packed up. I guess I'll sell all of that and donate it. I got the crib partially disassembled when I hit overload and just quit.

You realize he spent nearly half of his life in the hospital? The first 2 weeks and the last 6. 58 days of the 125 he lived. He never even outgrew the size 0-3 sleepers. He never had a pair of shoes on his feet, they were too big. I have 2 bottles of baby powder that I never opened.

I'm already forgetting what he looked like and I can't remember the sound of his cry. I'm losing him all over again.

Tarheel Tavern #70

Heard the Word of

The 70th weekly Tar Heel Tavern will arrive at Another Blue Puzzle Piece this Sunday.

For folks who are inspired by a theme, I suggest "quality of life". I hope this can encompass lots of possibilities: light-hearted or serious, musings about family and friends, vacations (both going and returning), good food, good music, good photos, and whatever else contributes to the quality of our lives.

Contributions may be sent to by Saturday evening. The sooner the links arrive, the better the quality of the host's life, and (probably) the better the quality of the Tavern. It's kind of a reciprocation thing.

I'm looking forward to the experience of hosting the THT. I'll do my best to make it fun, tasty, crunchy, chewy, bright, shiny, and generally a quality life experience.

The joys of motherhood

Why must teenagers be such a completely unlikable breed? And why must I be weak enough to allow them to goad me into reacting the way I do? And why do I find it so damned difficult to say no. Just, "no" without feeling guilty or second guessing myself or worrying that they'll resent me? And how in god's name did I end up with such disrespectful, selfish turds?

Don't answer that last one. That one I know the answer to. I just don't damn like it.


While we're audioblogging...

Read this: Words

While listening to this: Words

Yes, I know I've raved about Blue Tattoo before... so what. This may very well be my all time favorite ever poem, and her reading it is just ... *sigh* uh huh.

Japanese Beetles and Zen (audio)

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Japanese Beetles and Zen

It is a place of solitude.

I, alone in after-shower contemplation,
find stillness in swirls of steam.
This is where the window is
through which I watch the clustered horde create.

They're oblivious of me, audience of one
enthralled with the beauty of metallic backs
bowed over the work of making lace
from the leaves of my lilies.

From here I see their final products:
delicate havoc,
negative space,
and the art of hunger.

I had to record this about 8 times, I kept getting tongue-tied and giggling. Once, I screwed up and said, "crap!" and from that point forward all I could do is start over, giggle, start over, giggle...

Eventually I called again and I was still on the verge of giggling, so I ended up reading too fast, trying to get it all out before I started laughing again. So. This still isn't really quite how I wanted it to sound. Maybe I'll rerecord it later.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's Like Origami for Clothes!

It's Like Origami for Clothes!
A long time ago, I saw this video on how to fold a t-shirt. It was in Japanese, she moved fast. I couldn't follow quickly enough. I was intrigued by the ease with which she did it, and how perfectly the shirt was folded, but I couldn't quite do it.

I found the video again today. I tried it. Repeatedly. After a few tries, I was so impressed that I had to fold and refold and refold a tshirt while each of my family members watched. Yes, even the kids.
Go. Watch. Learn. I will never again fold tshirts any other way.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We DID it... holy moley!

Seven Instances of Of or The Beauty of Passivity

Just a few mild revisions, reversions, and re-additions. I'm still considering the word choice and postitioning in lines 8 & 9
Japanese Beetles and Zen

It is a place of solitude.

I, alone in after-shower contemplation,
find stillness in the swirls of steam.
This is where the window is
through which I watch the clustered horde create.

They're oblivious of me, audience of one
enthralled with the beauty of metallic backs
bowed over the work of making lace
from the leaves of my lilies.

From here I see the final products:
delicate havoc,
negative space,
and the art of hunger.

Japanese Beetles and Zen

It is a place of solitude,
I, alone with my after-shower nudity,
find stillness in the swirl of steam.
This is where the window is
through which I watch the clustered horde create.

They're oblivious of me, an audience of one
enthralled with the beauty of their metallic backs
bowed over the work of making lace
from the leaves of my lilies.

From this distance I can only imagine
that I see their final products:
delicate havoc,
the negative space of hunger,
and art.

Japanese Beetles and Zen

It is a place of solitude.

I, alone in after-shower contemplation,
find stillness between swirls of steam.
This is where the window is
where I watch the clustered horde create.

They're oblivious of me, audience of one
enthralled with the beauty of metallic backs
bowed over the work of making lace
from the leaves of my lilies.

From here I see the final products:
delicate havoc,
negative space,
and the art of hunger.


Sometimes I'd get married just to make some stories simpler to tell... This is one of those times.

Shortly after we got back from Troy, NY in April, my sister-in-law called and told us that her daughter, Scott's niece, was pregnant. It was good news, the family needed some good news after we lost Nova and then Randy, and the news of a new baby was just, well, good news. I got an email from my sister-in-law this morning with the worst sort of news... her daughter had a miscarriage on Saturday evening.

We've lived down here, together, for 14 years, and very rarely get to NY to visit, so I really don't know a lot of Scott's family. It makes it hard to know what to say or do right now. I don't know how she's taking it, whether I should call, or shouldn't call or... know what I mean? I don't know her well enough to know what the best thing for her would be. Her loss is weighing on my mind today. I've got a book I want to send her, specifically geared toward parents that have lost a baby to a miscarriage. I don't know whether it will be well received or not, but I feel like sending it is the right thing to do.

Then there's Montrachet.
I used to consider myself "an animal person." I used to verge on that "crazy cat lady" thing. I even went so far, even recently, to revive dead puppies and nurse newborn kittens to health with hand-feedings and intensive antibiotic treatments. When I was young, as all kids do, I cried over every pet who died, and I had lousy luck with pets, seriously. But when Alexis died, it sort of put things in perspective for me, and I haven't cried about a dead animal in many years, until last night, when I read that Belinda had to put Montrachet down. (background here and here) Last night I cried like a baby, not so much for Montrachet's death, because it was as painless and compassionate a way to go as one could ask for, but for Belinda's heartbrokenness. I have felt a real connection to Belinda ever since I read her post about her father. (Read that post, and the replies especially, and you'll understand the connection.) So last night, I sat here a cried wholeheartedly for her loss. You're still in my thoughts Belinda.

I've also been following the story of a boy named Corbin who has been in the hospital following his Fontan (open heart surgery) on April 13th. I have been very concerned about him, because so many of his after surgery complications have sounded familiar, and realistically speaking, the longer the hospital stay, the more difficult things tend to become. He's had his ups and downs, but last week he seemed to be doing very well. Yesterday the news was not so good, they're even discussing undoing what was done to repair his heart because his pressures are too high (I know that makes little sense to most of you, but it's bad news anyway) and to be honest, today I'm afraid for him. He has a carepage here, but you have to sign up to be able to read, it's free if you'd like to read his whole story. Anyway, all of your thoughts and prayers and well-wishes sure couldn't do any damage eh?

Mondays. Life. Too much damn death.

Father's Day is done and I'm glad

Father's Day is done and I'm glad. Men handle things better than women I think. Well, they handle things in a less dramatic way anyway. I handled Mother's Day poorly, me being female and Mother's Day so soon after his death, well... I didn't do nearly as well as Scotty did today. Of course, he didn't make barbequed ribs or marble cake for me...

The donations total, as you can see up there, is at $1545... $1575 for the team. That stupid refrigerator finally sold today. Yes, I've had it sitting in my yard plugged in and running for a week. I got $50 for it, and I donated it to the Heart Walk. I also got another $25 donation this morning, only $455.00 to go to meet the revised goal. Looks like I'll have to raise it again before long.

I still have a microwave to sell, I think I'll put it on the Swap Shop and the end tables too, though I all but give up on getting rid of those end tables. I doubt I could bribe anyone into taking them, they're right ugly. They're the epitomy of 'Country' ... heavy as hell, sturdy enough to hold the truck up while you change the tire, - light pine, 2x4 construction, not hand built, but they could almost pass for it. If I say "chunky" does that give you an idea? Who knows maybe someone will want them.

I thought for a minute that I might put a link up for the tshirts I've designed too, let folks order them and put the profit to the Walk, but I can't decide wheter to or not. I'd have to redesign the shirt (as it is right now, it's sort of half-finished because none of the other CHD parents have joined yet, so I haven't been able to add the babies/children's names like I'd originally planned.) Plus, I can't decide whether it would be a waste of a large amount of money... I mean, if someone is willing to part with $25, would it be better to have a $25 donation, or to have a $5 donation, and someone wearing the tshirt out there, raising awareness? Would the shirt actually get worn often enough to do any good? Know what I mean?

I finally have that meeting set up with the AHA Rep. We meet at 8am Monday morning. Her emails have been pretty funny, I think we'll hit it off just great. I still have no idea what she has to offer in the way of information, but hey, I get to go out for coffee without the kids Monday morning! Wooo Hooo!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sound Waves

Sound Waves

So I read one of my poems... I was very unsure of myself, but I did it. I immediately found it to be addictive, and have had to fight myself all day not to call ODEO again, because I had things to do that I had to get done. I had no idea I'd be such a trend setter!
While I was doing things several members of my poetry family decided to read some poetry and make audio posts too! I'm tickled beyond words. Poetry is always more alive when read in the author's voice, more true to its intent. I've known James, Mary and Dave for years through Moontown Cafe, and I've spoken with Mary on the phone, but Dave had it right, I suddenly feel like I know each of them better for having heard them read their poetry.

James reading "Lunatic"
James reading "The Calling"

Mary reading "Concrete Jungle"

Dave reading "Death in Motion" "Sit Down" and "A Powerful Drug"

And now we have another!
Erin2 Reads AND sings! (but does not provide permalinks :|)
I've talked to E2 on the phone a couple of times. She has a very gentle voice, sexy too ;)

Tarheel Tavern #69: Reciprocity, the joy of giving

Well it's time again for an early-Sunday-morning visit to the Tavern. Who'da thunk that here, in what's referred to as the Bible Belt, we belly up to the bar every Sunday morning? Well, there it is anyway so pull up a stool and join in the fun!

This is Tarheel Tavern #69, and between my dirty mind and the recent events surrounding my decision to walk in the AHA Heart Walk, my theme is Reciprocity: the joy of giving, and receiving in return.

A big part (the good part) of my motivation in naming this theme this week was the response I've gotten to my decision to join the Heart Walk. It's been a blessing, and I've truly taken great comfort and satisfaction from it. I won't add a lengthy blurb about it, I figure most have you have already seen the post at the top of my blog and read along long enough to know the story regarding my son and his heart defect, but because Abel requested that I post the link, I'll add it here.

I have to admit that, because I tend to rely on my (rather "bawdy") sense of humor during difficult times, and this being the 69th edition, I had intended to make this a mildly naughty edition, speckled with double entendres. But as my inbox filled with submissions, and I read through each post, I realized that the subject was too serious to twist that way, and that most of you truly thought about the theme and those that submitted on theme put far too much effort into it for me to cheapen it with silliness or dirty mindedness. I'm oddly thankful to have had my little private joke ruined. It's been a pleasure to read your submissions and see just what my theme meant to you, and how you each applied it within your lives.

First, I'm going to start with one of our newest Taverners, Stephanie Robinson. At Seasons of the Soul it says:
"The process of creating art turned out to be a reciprocal process for Stephanie E. Robinson. As her artwork evolved, it served to remind her of the cycle of life and conflict and how, like seasons, we move through them and evolve."
Since receiving her link, I've contacted her about buying a copy of her print "Seasons of the Soul" and can't wait to get it! With the most cliched comment of the day, I say, "It speaks to me.

Another New Taverner is Spirit. His name says it all, and his blog "Spirit Blog" has an open-minded view of various religions, philosophies and spiritual concepts. His post, titled Grace, gives several instances that define Grace.

A son to eat lunch with.

Anger turned toward compassion.

Sacrifice for something greater than one's own needs.

Tears shed for hurt and loneliness, assuaged by a loving spouse.

His post definitely fits the theme, and I'm honored to include it.!

Next up is Ron Hudson from 2Sides2Ron, who epitomizes the concept of a giving spirit. He's always has someone else in mind, be it his family, his community, or one of his many friends. His post titled Reciprocation, he tells a story of how a poundcake brought unexpected results, in which he says
I could not possibly replace the feelings that were inspired in them to have settled a mystery, nor could I replace the gratitude for my friendÂ’s act of reciprocation. A while later, I shipped another poundcake to Los Angeles, and in return, I found a cooler on my doorstep containing gourmet pasta, organic pasta sauce and a huge chunk of fresh parmesan cheese from a high-end shop in the LA area.
His poundcake story is exactly what I was looking for with this theme: an instance in which an act of giving, made with no ulterior motives, inspired someone else to give back. Thank you Ron!

Laurie, who blogs at ...slowly she turned, is, as I've said before, truly environmentally conscious. As far as I'm concerned, her entire blog is about the beauty of a reciprocal relationship with nature. Her submission this week, called "Cherry Picking at Levering Orchard" is a perfect example of that. She tells of a recent trip:
The Levering Orchard is 98 years old. Frank Levering's grandfather first planted the cherry trees here, and Frank and his wife Wanda Urbanska took over the operation of the farm in 1986, a move that they wrote about in their book Simple Living.
No doubt that there have been generations of giving to the earth to have enabled the orchards to reciprocate with such a huge bounty of fruit. Just look at the size of those cherry trees!

The next entry is from Marcus at Fixin' Healthcare. The post he sent is titled "The thorn in the Lion's Foot" after one of Aesop's fables, which definitely entails the benefits of giving with a pure heart. The post addresses the improvement of the American healthcare system, in which he says:
Why not design a new system for health promotion and primary and secondary prevention? If well done, the results would be amazing.
Sounds like the way to remove (or better yet, avoid) the thorn to me!

I learned tonight, just now, that Jude, of Iddybud fame, who so recently lost her mother, has just this week also lost another important mother figure in her life. She takes this opportunity to share her tribute to Sandy and the giving and generous way she lived her life.
This past week, I lost a treasure in my life. Her name was Sandy. We first met when she and her family moved next door to my childhood home when I was only six years old. Her husband worked with my Dad at the same company, General Electric. My mother and Sandy became immediate friends. My mother has always had an intuition for people and she knew Sandy was genuine in her feelings. That's what made them the best of friends for such a long time.
God bless Jude, you'll be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your family's story with us in the Tavern this week.

Next up is Ken from Colonel Corn. He's been writing blog posts that find their way to's blogs, so congrats on that Ken! Now the post doesn't exactly fit the theme, but the fact that he's writing for the WCNC site does. You see, he's doing it without getting any extra pay, and I have every faith that he'll find that in the future, he'll definitely get repaid for it! Now, on to his post! In Robbery on Race Night he tells about covering a story about a robbery near Lowe's Motor Speedway on race night.
Beep Beep. An electronic summons came from the black Nextel phone hanging on my belt. Before I could pluck the device from its clip, a female voice blasted from the tiny speaker embedded on the phones cover. "Are you almost finished editing your story?"

Oh boy. Here I am laying the last edit to my story and quitting time is less than a half hour away. I look down at the black box in my hand wondering if I should lie. When the assignment editor wants to know if you are close to handing in your finished product, it means she is looking for a lens to send to breaking news. Time for some OT.
Congrats on getting on the ebsite Ken, I'm amazed at the fact that you could get there so quickly, find the employee/interviewee, and get the goods! I just hope that eventually, we learn what was so important about that bag!

etbnc of Another Blue Puzzle Piece, one of newest players, (and next week's host) took the theme to heart, and his post left me thankful that I've been blessed in my lifetime to see what he calls "a support economy." It also left me feeling thankful that someone so thoughtful has joined the ranks of the Tarheel Tavern carnival. His post titled Finding Value in Giving says
I'm pleased that we have an opportunity to remember how satisfying it is to participate in a support economy. I'll be even more pleased when we create--actually, recreate--a support economy. It really isn't far removed, even now. My grandparents fondly remember when the cheerful (and reciprocated) support of neighbors was a routine part of their lives.
Thank you etbnc, for joining with such a well written and thoughtful piece. I hope that all of the Taverners take this chance to read this, and properly welcome you into this little thing we call the Tarheel Tavern.

Dave, the ever thoughtful and usually amusing Dave, of Anonymoses, writes a poem, and though I think, at least in the beginning of his post, he tries to start out light-hearted, by the end, even Dave the Funny had to take it at least a little seriously, even if he did go and get cryptic on me. In A few thoughts on gifts, the gifted, gift-economies, and the psychosociopathology of gifting Dave says:
Time to start all over.
Rejecting the humbug. Inventing afresh.
An interesting, introspective and ever-changing piece of poetry Dave. Thanks for that!

At this point, Blogger ate the Tarheel Tavern... just as I finished it up and hit post. ARGHH!!!! Thank GOD I'd saved it as a draft several times as I went along. Haha! Blogger, you've taught me not to trust you!

Justin at View from the Cheap Seats thinks he submitted off-topic with his submission The Kids are All Right. The way I see it though, kids are a life-long exercise in reciprocation. Most everything they do, even when it's something we don't like, tends to be a regurgitation of what we as adults have taught them. In this post, Justin reacts to an article by Bob Parks entitled "The Anti-Christs Live Among Us" with a letter, in which he says:
Mr. Parks,

I came across this article "The Anti-Christs Live Amongst Us" as it was reprinted in "NC Rumors"; and I'll have to say that when I first read it - I was pretty angry. It seemed like yet another, tired, "those darn kids these days" rants.
He goes on to make point after point proving that not only are kids not neccessarily the "Anti-Christs" that Mr. Parks makes them out to be, they're often our heroes. See, as humans, we tend to be more aware of our own faults and short-comings, and as adults, find that looking at a kid is a lot like looking into a mirror. Justin just manages to remember to look for the good things about the young people around him. Thanks for that Justin, I'll try to remember that trick, the next time my 17 year old is being sarcastic and stubborn, I'll try to remind myself that those qualities are the humor, intelligence and strength I'd hoped he'd learn as he grew up!

Next up is Coturnix, a.k.a Bora. He's apparently been so swamped with his new SEED science blog A Blog Around the Clock, that he totally missed the deadline. Seeing that he's the founder of this thing we call The Tarheel Tavern, I felt I'd be remiss if I failed to include him. So off I ran to swipe a post. Those of you who are familiar with Bora know that he's always got a kind word, a little linky-love and/or a donation to share when he finds a worthy cause, so I wasn't the slightest bit surprised to find a post called The ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose raise-money-to-help-science-classrooms-a-thon!
A lot of us fell in love with science because of early experiences in school -- teachers who made science intriguing, exciting, maybe a little bit dangerous. But tightening budgets are making it harder and harder for public school teachers to provide the books, equipment, and field trips to make science come alive for kids. gives us a way to help teachers get the job done. A bunch of us at ScienceBlogs have set up Bloggers Challenges which will let us (and that includes you) contribute to worthy school projects in need of financial assistance. We'll be able to track our progress right on the DonorsChoose site. And -- because we like a little friendly competition -- we'll be updating you periodically as to which blogger's readers are getting his or her challenge closest to its goal.

You don't need to give a barrel of money to help the kids -- as little as $10 can help. You're joining forces with a bunch of other people, and all together, your small contributions can make a big difference.
It's definitely a worthy cause, and Bora has already raised over $550!

Now, thinking that, at this point, I was done with the Tarheel Tavern, I went off on some innocent web surfing and decided to stop in and see what Billy was up to over at Billy the Blogging Poet. Billy's another generous soul, and works tirelessly to improve the traffic going to everyone else's site. (He's been working extra hard on his new Poets 101 aggregator, for those poets of you who haven't signed up yet) and when I get there, I see a post called Another Aggregator = More Traffic For Your Blog. It's proof of Billy getting a little pay back for his generosity.
I don't know who listed on the Strategic Board but thanks whoever you are. The Board is an aggregator that has been sending me 15-20 referrals daily for about three days now. Before three days ago I had never heard of the Board. They've also got an add your blog feature so perhaps you should give them a try. As for what they allow I've no idea.
Of course, Billy completes the circle (again) by linking to the site he speaks of.

Abel Pharmboy blogs at Terra Sigillata, another SEED blog. He's also taking part in the fundraiser that Bora mentioned in his post, and I'm adding one of his posts, because not only is his participation an example of reciprocity, his post titled Wow Thank You Generous Donors! He shows exactly how reciprocity works:
Even better news is that our ScienceBlogs host, Seed Media Group, offered on Friday to give a dollar for dollar match for every donation up to a total of $10,000. I should note that this offer came entirely without any coaxing on our part, as relayed to us by Sb den mother, Katherine Sharpe:
It's true: Michael Tive walked into my office yesterday morning with the news that the people who control the purse strings at SEED had read about your challenge and were moved to be part of it.
This kind of support makes me happy that I made the decision to join Sb.
And that's how it works. One good turn deserves another.

I really appreciate all of the quality submissions I got this week. It just goes to show how thoughtful and compassionate Carolinians are. Next week we'll be meeting at Another Blue Puzzle Piece where etbnc will be playing host.

I hope all of you fathers have a wonderful Father's Day full of ugly ties, messy breakfasts in bed, lot's of love, and much (wife-and-child-condoned) couch-potato-ing! See you next week!

Friday, June 16, 2006

my first audio post

Ok, I promised Lori I'd do this. I'm blushing just thinking about it. I use ODEO, because I don't have a microphone, so the only way I can record is with the phone. I want you to know, I hung up on ODEO three times before I got the courage to go through with it, and even then, I screwed up and got fumble-fucked at the end. I just couldn't make myself call again, so deal with it, Southern drawl, rattling paper, weird emphasis and all :)

powered by ODEO
Below Morning's Edge

The cannas have begun to show,
a paradox of petaled sunrise
risen atop stoic stalks

leaves held together, as always,
slipped one inside another like
pages of poetry - twisted,
hidden in the dark crescent
just below morning's edge.

Four long months of Carolina summer
they stand proud, June through September.
I wonder, come the third Thursday
if the thanks they give is for the fall,
for the chance, at last, to let the sun set.

Are they glad?
to loose their curled secrets?
to lay them down and sleep?

Back to Coxsackie (again)

I've got some sort of stomach thing that is really not good. I've been perched atop the porcelain throne for the better part of the last 12 hours or so. I think it's punishment. Last night I was watching Sister Sister, and there was a team rivalry and they dyed the other team's uniforms "powder puff pink." The other team retaliated with bad brownies and one of them ate one and was having stomach issues, and I laughed... within an hour, guess where I was. Yup, on the toilet, thinking about "powder puff pink."

Funny how, at times like those, my mind wanders. There I sit, on the toilet, thinking about powder puff pink, and where do I end up?

When I was a child of about 8, we lived in a 4 family apartment in Coxsackie NY. We were poor, very poor, though I never really understood that money (or the lack of it) was an issue, I was miserably unhappy. I had no friends, only a mean-spirited bully as my constant companion, my father had recently left my mother, we'd recently left NC to move to NY where I never fit in. My whole life had been turned inside out, I was having health issues, stomach issues actually, that resulted in my spending much time in the bathroom.

On the back of the toilet were trinkets, knick knacks, and my mother's perfume. Ambush, both that quirky retro bottle and the dusting powder, in a round pink box, with a beautiful pink powder puff. I loved the smell when I was young, loved that damn powder puff too. I thought it was the most elegant thing I'd ever seen. I'd go in the bathroom and open the box so carefully just to smell it, just to feel that powder puff. If you've ever smelled Ambush (which I doubt you have, even if you have the newer version, which stinks) you'll understand that every time I opened that box, not only did the smell fill that tiny bathroom in Coxsackie NY, it most likely filled the better part of the house. It's an intense fragrance.

But my mother never yelled at me for opening it or messing with it. I'm glad. I know it sounds a strange, but her Ambush Dusting Powder and that puff were my guilty pleasure, they were one of the few sources of beauty and pleasure in my life at that point. If she'd have caught me and yelled at me for doing it, she'd have ruined it, soiled the purity of it. It being "my secret" was so important to me. It would have been a major loss at a time in my life when it seemed like loss and pain were all that existed.

I don't know if she was really unaware, somehow, of my fascination with it, or aware enough that she was kind enough to never mention it. All I know is that while I was locked in that bathroom with that little round box in my hand, surrounded by that fragrance, I thought I had found some rare treasure, and I thought I was special.

I know I post a lot about that period of my life. Seems like after all these years I'd be over it. I'm still sometimes amazed by just how traumatized I was by those few years, and how long-lasting the effects are. It's good though I guess that at least I can finally find some pleasant memories.


I haven't been able to get a hold of the woman at the local chapter of the AHA, despite calling on a daily basis. Seems her job is to go out and meet with participants, or, meet with someone anyway, and she's never actually in the office.

This morning I received an email from her. Professional, but sweet. She's obviously read Nova's story to some degree. Anyway, I've emailed her back, so there's finally been "contact!"

There still isn't a meeting set up, but I'm not so sure a meeting is really necessary. The email sounds more like she's offering any help if I need it but we shall see. I told her I'd love any information she thinks might be helpful, but if it is a routine no-big-deal thing, I hope she does it via email or postal mail to be honest. Gas is too expensive to drive to Charlotte if we can avoid it. Now if it's something important or something that isn't just an every day run-of-the-mill everybody-meets-with-her sort of thing, then I'll be more than happy to meet with her. I sure don't want to pass up an opportunity for special help or whatever.

Did I ever say that I did eventually actually send that mail out to Dr. Watts? It went out yesterday. I'm still nervous and feeling funny about doing it, but I keep reminding myself that the worst that can happen is nothing. Except that he might think I'm a total cad for asking of course...

We recieved another donation from one of Scott's customers yesterday. I love that they're being supportive of him. I knew they would.

Erin Monohan Hot Body

Man, sometimes I look at my stats and the search terms that people use to find their way here... There's lots of "acceptance" the ocassional "redneck girls" and sometimes I get folks looking for "Dead Poetic and Acceptance" (bands of some sort I think) but today, I found the one that made my day, and I will hold forever dear to my heart!

"erin monohan hot body"

Poetic Acceptance comes up #18, and I'm mentioned on the blog at spots #20, #16, and #5.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

super nova

Super Nova indeed. That makes me smile. And cry a little.
I've updated my little thermometer thingy, but I really liked this so I thought I'd share :)

Hey Norton!

Want to see something that will make your jaw drop?

There's another blog I read fairly regularly, it's the blog of a man whose son has recently had heart surgery, called "Hey Norton." He's just received a copy of a bill from the hospital where his son was treated. Note, this is just a partial bill, and covers his hospitalization only, not the actual surgical procedure.

(Also keep in mind that Nova's bills would put this to shame, Nova's charges, just for the joy of sleeping in CVRU for 45 days and 44 nights is nearly $520,000 alone. The doctor's bills ($30,500 of which I still can't get straightened out) Radiology bills (at least 1 x-ray a day, several EKGs etc...) Respiratory therapy, the open heart surgery itself, the colostomy (and the repair of said colostomy) the angiojet, etc... don't reflect in that total.

Thank god for insurance.

Bible Thumper Gone Wild

This bitch (Shirley Phelps-Roper that is, not the owner of the blog) is crazy! She also serves to completely justify every bit of ill-will I feel toward organized religion. Listen to her, she thinks she makes perfect sense, truly believes that her thoughts are rational.

ToH: Pam

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Seasons of the Soul

I like local bloggers. I like art. Especially visual art, because, frankly, I'm no good at it. I got a link in my email today. It's a link to a local blogger out of Durham. A local artist type blogger. She's just begun blogging, as a way to showcase her art. Go see Stephanie Robinson's blog called Seasons of the Soul. I'm seriously considering buying the one print that's shown there so far. Maybe I should wait and see the rest as she uploads it...

Group hug!

Today I decided to write to Dr. Watts and ask him to donate. It was a difficult decision to make because I hold the man on a pedestal. He is only a notch or two from God status in my mind, and I felt like asking him would be presumptuous. The man had my son's heart in his hands, poured himself, for 6 weeks, into saving Nova's life. There are only a couple of people who I revere the way I do him. The man spends his entire life trying to change the lives of families dealing with CHD. To ask for money felt almost like blasphemy. Now I know it sounds a little insane when I put it that way, but that makes it no less true (for me.)

But as I sat there, holding Nova's body shortly after he died, Dr. Watts came and he put his arm on my shoulder and made me look him in the eye, and he said to me, "If there's anything I can do for you personally, I'd be honored to do it. Don't hesitate to ask." He repeated that sentiment the day of our consultation last month. And so, after much vacillation, much second guessing of myself, many copies of the letter written and trashed and rewritten, I finally wrote him, got it into an envelope, addressed it, and did it, before I lost my nerve again, because I'm cheap enough that once the stamp is on the envelope it must be mailed, lest I waste 39 cents. Seriously, I think that way.

I had taken a letter to CVRU the day I went and sat with Lisa while Daniel was in surgery. I hadn't heard a word from even one of them, and I was disappointed and discouraged by that. I talked to Mika the other night, and she's good friends with (and attends the same church as) one of the CVRU nurses, and her nurse friend told her that the CVRU nurses and staff have a team of their own. That's why I hadn't heard from them! That was a relief. So I went to the Kintera page and looked for their team. I don't know the name of their team, and had no luck finding it. But while I was searching, I found a list of teams participating in the Walk.

I want you people to understand how awesome you are. On that page there were at least 100 teams. I don't know if it's the top 100, or a complete listing or what, but while I was reading that list, I realized that, in addition to my name being #3 on the top fundraiser list, Team Nova is the #6 top team. Now listen... any team who was anywhere near ours was a company team that was sponsored by a company with a corporate fund-matching program. Team Nova is the only one without a company sponsor.

In other words, you guys have outdone most big business corporations when it comes to donations. There is only a $550.00 difference between us and the #1 team. I am so impressed with all of you and your mind-blowing generosity. Utterly humbled by it. I am so grateful to know each of you. Thank you all so much. I love you guys for reaching out to me, and for extending Nova's reach so far.

C'mon, group hug!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

TMR and other stuff

On June 1st, I announced that The Modern Review had released their July 2006 issue. See, The Modern Review and I have a history of sorts, a friendship if you will. I submit, they reject. I'm bound and determined to get in, and they insist on holding me to their high standards. Eventually, I will write something again, something that doesn't make me cringe, and then I will submit again, in hopes that they, too, don't cringe.

Seriously, they're good people, their rejections came with very thoughtful and helpful suggestions - no snootiness, not even a hint. Their attitude convinced me to subscribe the first time, and I was more than a little disappointed that I couldn't afford to renew my subscription when I saw that the July issue was available.

In the last couple of days (oy I'm losing my mind, the days all run together and I'm not sure whether it was Friday or yesterday! Thank you insomnia!) I got a surprise delivery... The July 2006 issue of The Modern Review! Needless to say, I was thrilled to get it, and even more so now that I've begun to read it. It begins with an editorial letter that discusses friendliness, and how it differs from niceness, and how that pertains to poetry. I couldn't help but laugh while reading it, simply because it's so honest. There's also an interview with Robert Kelly that has kept me reading. I'm not generally the interview type but the questions are well chosen, and the answers, well, it is Robert Kelly! I always enjoy The Modern Review. It really is high quality.

Of course, me being me, I decided to email the editor and thank him for the surprise gift. I figured it was the least I could do, right? He emailed back, very concerned about this "expired subscription" issue, because I'd bought a one year subscription, 4 issues... and my subscription doesn't run out until September. Apparently, with all I've been dealing with, I'd lost track of time or, maybe I'd lost track of my one final brain cell. Like I said to him, I just can't pass up the opportunity to embarrass myself and solidify in peoples' minds just what a goofball I actually am. It's ok though, I embrace my mental incapacity, really I do.


Thanks to a discussion I had in someone else's comment box, my husband's new nickname is "Bush-Hog." I'll say no more, let your minds wander where they will.

It's raining here. Lots of rain, all day greyness and sleepiness and the slushing of wet tires on asphalt. It's expected to last a couple of days, thanks to the Alberto's outer bands. I am as happy as I can be about that, what with all the kids out of school for the summer, and my husband unable to work in the rain. I adore rain, but this house seems awfully small, and my nerves a bit jagged, already.

Poetry. I'm going to write some. Soon. Really. Look, humor me OK? I've been staring at this 3 line sequence for days, and I just can't do anything with it. I'm having metaphor issues. I like them pure, these want to mix. For all the motherly advice I'm offering it, it has decided to be a rebellious bastard step-child of a poem.

The internet is about to go to hell. In case you haven't been keeping up. Net neutrality just went the way of the wind. I am anxious to see how it all works out, how badly it will affect the web in the end. Fucking net-nazis and greedy bureaucrats (yes, I had to look that up to spell it right, OK!?)

The mail lady took those fundraising letters today, obviously, that is her job... I'm anxious to find out what sort of response (if any) I get. Now I'm debating with myself as to whether to send one to Dr. Watts or not. He did say that if there was anything he could do for me personally, that he'd be honored. It would actually mean a LOT to me to see his name on Nova's donation board. Maybe Dr. Bensky too? I don't know, am I being obnoxious to even consider it? Seriously, I want your honest opinion... I mean, I've only gotten $1295 by asking and I know that I'll have to continue to do so, but is that over the line? Is it asking too much, or giving them the opportunity... Ugh. I hate it when I get wishy-washy.

Call for Carolina Blog Submissions

Heard the Word of Blog?

What: The Tarheel Tavern
Who: You and me baby!
When: June 18, 2006
Where: Right Here!
Why: Because it's the thing to do!

All you Carolina Bloggers (including those Carolinians who have never joined us!) send in your permalinks by Saturday June 17th, 9pm, and the Tavern will open sometime Sunday morning.

Theme: Reciprocation:
"What, when, and/or how have you benefitted from giving to others?"

I have found that being able to do something for someone else is a very satisfying experience, and that when giving, it comes back in some way, enriches you, fills you, so to speak.

In other words, I want to hear about your personal stories with the process of give and take. Of course, as always, I'll be happy to include any posts that aren't on theme. So email them to me!


Man it was doing some gorgeous storming out there this afternoon. I've never seen the sky the colors it was tonight. First yellow, then pink, then purple, but the most vibrant unbelievably beautiful shades. Amazing.

God I love summer in the south!

I got a $20 check today, payment for a little something I'd done. I wasn't really expecting it, so I'd decided to apply it to the Heart Walk, but instead, I made up fliers (or flyers, whichever) to distribute to local fraternal orders and such (thank you Ang for that idea) and they're in the mailbox awaiting my lovely mail lady as we speak. I also sent one to Nova's pediatrician. He's a sweet sweet man, I hope he decides to donate. I've also received 3 donations today, $25, and $80, and Zilla matched $65.00 of the $80 donation, so thank all three of you! The new total is $1195!

No one has bought the stuff I was selling, so tomorrow afternoon, I will take (or, more accurately, have Scott take) them... I don't know, to a pawn shop? Something. Somewhere. Wherever it is that people buy used appliances and outdated end tables.

My sister emailed today about my niece's baby shower. I promised I'd help plan it before. Hell, truth be told, I suggested it. So we're in the planning stages of Baby Shower Throwing. I've never thrown a baby shower. I have no idea what I'm doing. What are your thoughts on Shower games? Yes? No? Ever played any good ones that aren't too goofy? I'm making the center piece - the Diaper Cake. Those are kind of cute, don't you think? And I'll take care of the food too. We have to get a list going for invitations eh? Gotta know how many I'm feeding...

My niece being pregnant makes me feel old as hell. I remember her being Terra's age, I remember changing her butt. And now, she's an adult, soon to be a mom. It makes me look at my kids. Tom's 17 (well, he will be in less than a month) Kory is 15, and breaking down doors to get a job so he can buy a car so he'll have one when he gets his license. Kassi's nearly 12 - going on 25, at least. Terra breaks my heart every day with how adorably grown up she's getting. Brendon is the only one who seems to be 'his age' - or at least, he's at an age that isn't freaking me out anyway. And now that I've given all Nova's things away, where once there was baby apparatus, there are only empty spaces that remind me that he'd be 6+ months old.

My best friend had a son just a few weeks before Nova was born. It's hard to talk to her on the phone sometimes, hearing him in the background, her telling me the things he's doing (he crawls now, pulls up and cruises...) I'm getting a huge amount of satisfaction and large doses of warm fuzzies from the Fundraiser, but man, what I wouldn't do to have Nova back.

He's been gone 2 months and a week now, and my throat still closes up with missing him.

Monday, June 12, 2006

replacement critters

The following story from Reuters is exactly why I have been frustrated the last few days about the multiple celebratory posts regarding Musab al-Zarqawi's death. It's like stomping on one damn roach and bragging about it. Just more muscle flexing and posturing by Bush to try to regain political favor. There are plenty of Al Qaeda ready to fill his spot. "Major blow against al Qaeda" my ass.

Al Qaeda in Iraq chooses Zarqawi successor
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Al Qaeda in Iraq said its new leader named on Monday would keep up a campaign of beheadings and suicide bombings begun by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by U.S. bombs last week.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

sappiness, again.

Ever known one of those people that instigates an argument, sometimes just for the sake of having an argument? Then, when someone responds to their comments, regardless of the actual tone or wording (or whether they're even directed at them) the original person gets all huffy and freaks out?

I feel badly for those people. It must be difficult going through life being so angry, so emotionally volatile, so paranoid and suspicious of everyone else's intentions. I think those people must be very uncomfortable within themselves on some level, don't you think?

When I first discovered the internet 10 yeaars ago, my introduction to the web was Yahoo Chat. Beer and Wine #1 actually. I was amazed at the speed with which one could make "friends" in there. Hell, I made some damn good friends in there. Kinz, Jason, Dawn, Kelly, Kelly (another one) and her husband Bruce, Bev, man I still miss Bev, and Joanie, haha Joanie and Sparky, man they were a hoot too... There were a lot of others too... Scott and I would sit for hours and chat with them, getting silly, getting stupid, usually getting more than a little tipsy. We talked to them offline too, on the phone, and some of them we met offline. A one night party at Joanies, a weekend party in Atlanta with Kinz and a bunch of others. Some of them were really good friends, much more than chat buddies or mere aquaintances.

By the same token, I saw a lot of people that started out as really good friends who ended up ripping each other's throats out because one person would say something that would be misinterpreted, someone else would get huffy and snippity and paranoid, and shit would spiral from there. It sucked. I lost some friends that way, came to dislike, pity, and avoid certain instigating types because of these sorts of situations. Life is too short people, wouldn't you agree?

So. What the hell am I on about anyway? I don't know. I was having a conversation with a friend last night about choosing who to spend your time with, and who not to waste your time on. My mind has been on a 24 hour tangent on the subject. I've made some lousy choices - on line and off. But right now, I'm surrounded by this crowd of people, online and off, that I wouldn't change a bit if I had to. It feels good. Thanks. I am a lucky woman!


I have always been a big fan of a good quote. Yes, I know that using quotations from others is a sure sign that you've got nothing worthwhile to say yourself... I cvan't help it, I saw these today on the Dr. Pepper site, and I liked them, so here they are:
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first one epitomizes my motivation for fundraising for the AHA Heart Walk. The second is something I have learned since starting. I hope that those of you that have donated have felt it too.

The Ivory Elephant of Love and Remembrance

Today marks 14 years since Scott and I did the deed. No, it isn't our wedding anniversary, we don't have one of those since we aren't married. But on June 11th, 1992, Scott moved in with me, and so it is our 14th "shackin-up-iversary." If there had been one of those wedding ceremonies if we were recognized legally and religiously, this would be our Ivory Anniversary. Ivory what? Ivory soap? Ivory bows and ribbons? So here it is, my cyber-gift to my husband on our Ivory Shackin-up-iversary.

One ivory elephant. Because I will never forget all that you've done for me, or all that we've been together. I love you baby!

hee hee

I was surfing around Technorati today... checking out tags. Tags are a funny thing, or maybe Technorati is, but anyway, I sometimes add tags to my posts, which is a different thing than tagging your blog. This blog has a LOT of tags, whwereas my posts are rarely tagged, and the tags I do use are limited. Anyway, I was looking at the blog tags I've added to this blog: Acceptance, Acceptance Poetry, Bereavement, Blogging, Chapbook, Charity, Grief, Grief Support, Grieving Parents, Infant Loss, Journaling, Literature, Poem, Poetic, Poetry, Poetry On Loss, Publication, Random Thoughts, Tarheel Tavern, Writing. Mostly I was there to find other blogs on the same subjects I classify mine under, particularly charity. I'm hunting new ideas you know... Anyway, I clicked "charity" and didn't see anything interesting. I usually ignore the ads ,but today I saw one that caught my attention. It's a Sponsored Ad by Dr. Pepper. You can nominate someone who's doing good in your community. The top 2 winners get $23,000 for their favorite charity. Now I considered nominating myself, but the truth is, I'm not doing a lot for my community. I'm gung ho about this walk, but it's a national thing, not a local thing. But Mika and the Maeghan and Heidi Heart Foundation is definitely a grass roots community based charity that benefits local families. I think I'm going to nominate her. She'd absolutely shit the bed if she won. I hope she does, and I hope I'm there to see her face ;) I'll keep the potty paper handy!

**OK, so I went and did it, including writing a 2200 word essay! Now I need you guys to do me a HUGE (and totally free) favor... When I nominated her, I got this message:

We’re so happy that you’ve chosen to nominate someone who Peppers Your Community. Be sure to return to the site between July 24 and August 11, 2006 to view the finalists and vote for your favorite. If your nominee is selected as a finalist, his or her charity of choice will receive $2,300. Nominees voted to be the grand prize winners will receive a $23,000 check to benefit their charity of choice!
I need you guys to go to the site during those dates and vote for her when the time comes! Pleeeeeeeese!?

Update: $1025

So tonight's update looks like this: Thanks to a donation (another donation) from E2, my running total stands at $1,025.
That moves my name into the #3 spot on the Top Fundraisers list, which I mention because it shows how generous all of you are, not how great I am! (I won't deny getting a little kick out of it though!) We're just $80 behind the #2 John Rohr. He has $1,105. The top spot took in another donation today, so Pat Cook is on top with $1,625, exactly $600 ahead of us.

The kids, despite the hours they've spent working on it, in 95 degree heat today I might add, haven't had a lot of luck with their door-to-door fundraising efforts. They've got some ideas of their own brewing though, so we'll see how they do tomorrow. They've each got $10.00 and that $2.00 donation I haven't entered yet because I haven't figured out how to split that 3 ways. I'll just tack it on to someone else's off-line donation at a later date.

Not one soul stopped and bought any of the stuff we put out there today. Hopefully that will be different tomorrow. We'll put them out earlier, during yardsale hours, and get a little more attention I think. I've decided to put some of Donovan's clothes out there, if for no other reason than to get at least a few dollars, because let's face it, baby stuff sells like hot cakes. Maybe once they're in the yard for the baby stuff, they'll see what we're selling this stuff for and make some purchases that they wouldn't otherwise.

Scott's customers haven't done a lot yet, but I have faith that they will. They're good people, and they know how much this means to him. But for now, the team total is $1,055. Still no word from the radio stations I've contacted, but it's only been one (weekend) day. So I'm not sweating that yet. The more I think about this AHA lady who called and left the message, the more excited I am to see what she has to say. I'm looking forward to setting up the meeting and talking to her.

Ang is considering having a yard sale with her mother, and not only donating her sales, but asking her mother to consider donating part of hers. And Zilla has a goal in mind that she intends to meet by September first. She's shooting for $500! How awesome is she, and on top of that, if any more of her usual readers donate, she's going to match the next $62.50 (she's already donated once for herself, and matched $250 dollars worth of her linky-list members donations!)

I have been utterly overwhelmed by how caring and giving so many of you have been and continue to be. It has, as Erin says, "strengthened my faith in mankind." Thank you all, so much. I can't even begin to tell you how special this whole process is to me, or how comforting it's been to be enveloped in this online community at this point in my life!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Insert Title Here

It's done. Well, at least it's partially done. The Johnny-Jumper, the carseat and both bases, the bouncy seat, the portable swing, the baby tub, they're gone. I've still got the clothes to sort through, the crib to dismantle, but the majority of Nova's things have been given to my niece. I had told myself I was going to do it this weekend, but in the back of my mind I'd pretty well decided that I wouldn't actually do it. But she (and her boyfriend's grandmother) showed up today (unannounced, grrrr!) and I just gathered it all while she was here, and told her just to take it, while I wasn't falling apart about it (and while I had an audience, in front of which I won't cry...)

Now to get myself in there to do the rest.

There is presently a fridge, a microwave and a pair of long-forgotten end tables in my yard for sale. All the money raised will go to the Heart Walk. I'm straining my brain to think of other things I could sell. Had I not already promised the baby things to my niece, I'd have sold them for the Heart Walk too. I think it would have made a real statement.

Did anyone else watch Chicago Hope at 3am this morning? Yes, well, now you know the stimulus for last night's crying jag. I'm going to have to stop watching TV altogether.

I got a call yesterday (one I didn't know I'd received, and only got the message for this morning) from a woman at the Charlotte office of The American Heart Association. She wants to meet with me. I don't know if all participants get this call, or if it's thanks to the generosity of all of you bringing my name to the Top Fundraisers list. Somehow I think it's unusual for one person to generate $1000 in donations in a 2 week time frame, and that most likely caught someone's attention. I'll call her Monday when the office re-opens and set up a meeting. I'll let you guys know if it's routine, or if you should all take credit for the meeting. I really believe it's because of all of you, so thanks for that. She said she had some "materials" to enhance my fundraising endeavor, so I'm looking forward to seeing what that might include!

Last night, I emailed that local radio station and made an inquiry about advertising. No word yet. I also emailed a local christian radio station, no reply on that either. A couple of nights ago though, I got an email from a girl named Kirsty, administrator of a web forum called Mummybrain. She said that there were a lot of fun forums there, and that there was also one dedicated to parents who'd lost babies, that perhaps I'd find it helpful. I thought maybe I would too, so I joined. This morning I got another email, from a member (or former member? I don't know.) saying that this Kirsty was a backstabber and blah blah blah. I don't have time for the petty shit in my life right now, I'm certainly in no mood for the politics of a board I've barely even looked at. Obviously there's some kind of shit going on there, so I posted and emailed requesting that my membership be cancelled and my profile removed. Screw that immature highschool crap. No thank you very much.

Now, someone needs to buy my stuff! But we put it out late, and it's really hot out (nearly 95) so maybe we'll do better in the morning. We shall see... but I'm not very good at patience.

Friday, June 9, 2006


Well, the children's door-to-door fundraising yielded no immediate results. Well, that isn't quite true, there was one $2 donation. However, I decided that, rather than give the fridge to the battered women's shelter, I'm going to plop it in the yard with a price tag, and whatever it sells for (sans $10 I'm giving Kory for scrubbing it down while I gardened) I'm going to apply to the fundraiser. I've also got a great like-new extra microwave I'm going to do the same with. And I'm considering a fundraising skate party. The kids around here are loony for skating, and the skating rink offers fundraising parties. I set the cost of admission, and I get 1/2. So if I set it at $5, and 100 people come, then I get $250! I'm thinking on that one though, because it requires some financial outlay for advertising. I'm also thinking about (sorry, you guys caught me mid-brainstorm) calling WIXE ( a local am radio show) and advertising on their radio show and website. I should go ahead and do that now... (OK that's done!) And maybe I could send out letters to some local churches - there are so many of them!

Come on guys, brainstorm with me! Give me more ideas!