Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Need a favor!

Please vote for Jennifer Wong to win a $5,000 blogging scholarship. She's a student science blogger who needs the money to fund her education and her blog. Your vote can help deliver that!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Halloween 2000
Look at all that blissful ignorance on my face.

Amazing what 6 years will do to you eh?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My oldest boys

They'll both just DIE if they find out I'm posting these pictures

This is Tommy (17) and his date for Homecoming last night. He's the kid who wears his pants falling off, with as many holes as possible, and big nappy t-shirts. I haven't seen him looking decent in, well, too darn long. Mama was happy to see him in a suit :D

And this is him again, with his date, and my other son Kory (15) who was also dressed for Homecoming, only he's my crazy one - he didn't have a date, and he didn't care. He went and had a blast :) He too normally wears the most homeless-looking outfits you can imagine, and this may very well be the last picture I get of the 2 of them like this for years.

Of Loss

We kept a vigil for a long time for him, waiting for him to come back. Without him, we were a little lost.
~Sophia Landon Geier
Of Loss

The geese, like the seasons, are confused.

They dance the dance of butterflies
back and forth through Indian summer -
of sunrise and sunset, chasing light.

They, and Oakley Hall... They get it -
they grieve the loss of beauty and artistry,
and countless nameless things, but without knowing:

they are the art and motion of change
that defines the beauty that becomes of loss.


Just thought I'd post this so all of you could see what I see all day. I get on here and spend a lot of time staring at the Google homepage. I can't seem to find anything much I want (or have the energy) to do. As you can see, I'm always aware of the weather. Not just ours, but that in the town in NY where most of Scott's family lives. I keep up with the silly news stories because real news is too much for me. I keep up with our schedules here, because otherwise it'll be written on some random slip of paper that will get lost. Then there are my quotes. I love quotes. I know they say that a person who relies on quotes does so to compensate for the fact that they have nothing intelligent or interesting to say. Probably just as true in my case as in anyone else's lately. And then there is the long and greatly neglected list of bookmarks. . .

Yup. There it is. The useless, and rather boring, rundown of my homepage. That's all I've got. Wish it were poetry, but it's just blather.

Tarheel Tavern #87

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Tarheel Tavern #87 is up at Terra Sigillata!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Odd bits

Nova's birthday - December 2nd

Sagittarius November 23 - December 20
"the Archer" in Latin, called Toxotes in Greek.

The curiosity of Sagittarius is truly insatiable and the mental energy is always alert. Sagittarius is a wonderful teacher and student. Sagittarius loves knowledge, all kinds of people and often sports. Sagittarius is very frank and open with friends and lovers. This is sometimes viewed by others as inconsiderate. Sometimes Sagittarius finds it better not to marry.

Sagittarius says, "I see"

Sagittarius Zodiac Stones
Early Sagittarian (born November 23 - December 5)

Soul stone: any of the tourmalines. Born under this fire sign, you are action-oriented and very lively. Tourmaline gives off an electrical charge when it is warmed and is the ideal stone to match and propel your innate energy.

Power Stone: Amber Wear it or carry it with you for short periods of time. Ancients believed that this fossilized resin trapped the sun.

Heart stone: Chrysocolla This copper-rich crystal contains very intense life vibrancy and is helpful to direct energy in a purposeful manner rather than burn it up (as Sagittarians are prone to do!)
Tammy, whom I only know from a Yahoo grief support group called Grieving Hearts, but seriously just LOVE, has had an angel pin designed to commemorate her daughter Zoe. It's a beautiful pin, and has specific symbols that represent things that Zoe loved while she was alive. She emailed us a picture of the pin, and it's so perfectly Zoe. She had it designed by Rosemary's Angels. I'm considering having Rosemary design pins for us as well. The price is ridiculously reasonable.

I'd want 2, of course, on for Alexis and one for Nova. But I found myself trying to decide what I'd want on Nova's pin. One of those things was his birth stone. I'd never even looked up the December birthstone. In my travels, I found the above info about the different stones. Just scanning the info, I saw "Heart Stone" and clicked to see what it was. I really like that stone, and it's 'meaning' and it's the one I'd choose if I were designing the pin. Actually, I've been drawing it out in my head, and on paper, playing with the different components... I'd definitely want Chrysocolla to be the stone used though... Definitely.
I can't decide what kinds of toys to buy for the CVRU to deliver on his birthday. Any and all suggestions are welcome. I know DVDs for the older kids... cd players with speakers maybe... some children's CDs... but what toys should I get?

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I've gotten several emails lately. Some asking if I was OK. If you ask, I'm sorry, but I'm going to be honest. So don't ask unless you're fully prepared for the weeping and whining that are sure to follow. Fair warning. If you ask me how I am, the answer will most likely be "exhausted and broken." (Thank you Terri for putting it so perfectly)

I've also gotten a couple from people who seem wounded that I haven't emailed them, or even replied to their emails to me. I'm sorry for not writing, for not responding, for hurting your feelings. It isn't my intention, and I wish you weren't hurt. But I have to worry about my own feelings right now. Call it selfish if you want, but I have to worry about me more than you. I'm responsible for maintaining some shred of my sanity, no one else can do that for me. And I'm pretty busy doing that. No energy left to worry about much else. I hope that doesn't sound as ungrateful and insensitive to you as it does to me right now. But at the very least, I owe you all the honesty in that statement. I am too exhausted and broken to try to hold any of you up right now. I just hope that you can be ok with that, understand it and not ask it of me. My good friends, those dearest to me, I know they (you) understand, and won't ask me for more than I can give.

I'm doing a lot of posting at unioncountymommies.com. The women there are so so sweet, they're all local and we have events to attend. I need to do that - get out, go places, interact in real life. Oddly, it is partially their lack of direct knowledge of the details that helps, the fact that they weren't there when it was all happening. I go and talk and laugh and joke - without the constant weight of telling the story. I can pretend, for a little while, that it didn't happen. Avoidance.

Don't get me wrong, I've told them, they've read the newspaper stories, and if I fell apart in the middle of the monthly meet -n- greet, with my platter of strawberry crepes in hand, they'd be there to pick me up. But there is a certain allure to the fact that this Erin is the one they know - not the Erin from before. It simplifies things. They aren't sitting around wondering when I'm going to "be my old self again" like so many who've known me long term seem to.

I know my tendency (which is all too evident here in the blog world) is to withdraw and insulate myself. Playdates are doubling as sanity savers, park days are aversion therapy. Strange though, how I'm finding it so helpful to do something I'd have never thought to do before. Not really so strange I guess. Since Nova died, I've been doing all sorts of things I'd have never considered before.

December 2nd would be his 1st birthday. I want to do something to commemorate that, but a party just feels wrong. What I think I'm going to do is go buy toys to donate to the CVRU - crib toys and children's DVDs, for the kids to use in CVRU. I considered doing a toy drive, but I don't think I have the energy. Maybe next year.

It's been nearly one year since I gave birth to him, and most of that year has been without him. There is something inherently wrong with the universe, and lately, I think there is something inherently wrong with me. I feel detached somehow. From reality, from people, from my emotions. I am just empty. Too empty even to cry most days. I worry that I don't cry enough. And then I have a night like last night, when the whole world caves in after everyone goes to bed, and I sob uncontrollably for hours. And then I remember why I don't cry. It's so futile. It's all so damn useless. There is nothing I can do to change things.

It's been 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days since he died, and I still sit in the dark with his teddy bear wishing I had him back. 6 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, and he's still gone.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


This is Our Childrens' Memorial Walkway.
It's an area within Frazier Park.

Their dedication stone explains the purpose of this area, but it can't possibly give you any idea just how you feel while you're here. It's hard to remember that you're just a few blocks from Uptown, with its traffic and noise. It's so peaceful here. The walkway is brick, and every other brick or so is dedicated to a lost child, inscribed with a memorial written by the parents or other loved one.

Our block was dedicated yesterday at a ceremony held by CMC and the nurses of the NICU. Jerry and Skip Mudge, of Footprints Ministries, intended to surprise us with it during the ceremony. Unfortunately, we didn't know about the surprise (would have ruined the surprise eh?) and Scott had some last minute customers call and had to work, so we missed the ceremony. Instead, we met with Jerry and Skip today and they showed us our babies' brick. It's twice the size we thought it would be, and wasn't supposed to be installed until December. We had no idea that they intended to have it put in yesterday.

Jerry and Skip gave us the brick for free (it's normally $100) and the man who inscribed the wording is a local man (they're normally sent off to be done.) Jerry said he heard/read our story and offered to do the work for free. She also said it's the only brick the man has ever offered to do for free. That's what my babies do - they touch people, and the generosity they inspire never ceases to amaze me. Having lost two children, I can tell you about the void that's left behind, after their passing. But I can also tell you about the way my heart has been filled to overflowing by the kindnesses of people who've heard our story.

Jerry and Skip can tell you the stories behind each brick. Who it was that died and how, who it was that bought the stone in their name and why... I followed her around as she told the stories of the other children who are memorialized there. I managed not to bawl the entire time, but I was so so touched, so amazed at the stories. There's a brick there for Adam Petty (race car driver, son of driver Kyle Petty) one for Jon Benet Ramsey, one for the 2 sons Susan Smith drown - Michael and Alex Smith. There are benches dedicated to people, there are different areas for different groups - one for the SIDS Alliance of the Carolinas, one for the NICU of CMC, one for Mothers of Murdered Offspring. There are blocks for stillborn infants, for toddlers, children of all ages, including adults - we are all someone's child...

It's a beautiful place - full of life. Just a few feet from children squealing on swings and playground equipment. There was a cheerleading squad practicing, people playing and running and lounging. I will be going there often - that pocket of peacefulness in the middle of all the bustle of Charlotte.... My soul was fed there.

Our Children's Memorial Walkway:
Footprints Ministries: http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/footprintsministry/index.html

Tarheel Tavern #86

The Tarheel Tavern this week has fallen again on to Poetic Acceptance, not that I mind, I really enjoy the opportunity to host. It gives me the chance to read posts that I might otherwise miss. And because I added a theme, it gives me some insight into how others interpret the theme I've announced. Sometimes I cheat and choose themes that can be duplicitous, just to get a feel for which way your minds twist. I wonder if I should have become a psychologist? Nah, maybe I need to start seeing one though!

So this week we have a new participant. Trish is new to The Tavern, but not new to NC. She's a life-long resident of Union County, and I've known her since I was 11. I know she's blushing as she reads this intro, and well, that makes me smile, because what are best friends for but to embarrass the other!?

Trish and I have similar feeling about the changing season, and the impending holidays, and for similar reasons. Visit Trish, my sister at heart, and see what the change of seasons means to her at Bubbles and Baubles.

Speaking of bubbles, you should see what Ron's been up to. He took a trip to Maine recently, and the change of seasons is something wholly different there than here. He's filled his Flickr with photos, and they're well worth the look. Autumn is different there. Colder, faster, and somehow, at least in Ron's view finder, it's more picturesque.

Ogre posted about one thing that, here in our area at least, is a sure sign that the seasons have changed. The leaves might not always change on time. The cold weather might not arrive on schedule, but by God, the Renaissance Festival always does, and when it does, Charlotteans know that, without a doubt, Fall has arrived.

Mr. R (isn't that just a supremely mysterious moniker?) submits a post about change, though not about the change of season, but that of a news story, and the sudden switch(es) in attitude as the truth of the situation became more evident. With a Blog called "Evolving Education" I'd think change is nothing new to Mr. R (Sorry, I just like saying Mr. R - I can hear the who-dunnit music in the background!) Read his thoughts on the plane crash in NYC, and the evolution of the reports.

Bora, the Tavern's founding father, is a science blogger. His field is chronobiology (is that the right word Bora?) The definition of chronobiology is the science or study of the effect of time, esp. rhythms, on living systems. What better place than his SEED blog to find commentary on the change of seasons and the effect of those changes on the world around us right? Well, if you know Bora, you know he's always one to throw you a twist ;) His post this week is about Elizabeth Edwards, a book signing, and a hug. It's not so much about change as it is about a difference. A difference in Elizabeth's personality that makes it possible for her, a celebrity of sorts, to know her fans' names, as well as those of their children. It's about a difference she's made (and is making) in her community, both online and off.

That's something I've noticed a lot more of lately. People who dedicate their lives to making a difference. I'm striving to become one of them, I hope I'm on the right track - and I'm using others' example to learn from. Jerry and Skip Mudge are two of those people who've set an example. I've written about them, and their mission, and how they've touched my life personally at Nova's Heart. Please take a moment to read, because I feel sure that I have local readers that might be interested in their work.

This next one is definitely about change. Billy (the Blogging Poet, the Christmas elf and pilot extraordinaire) is always showcasing everyone else's work, linking to their blogs, bragging about the things that other people do. That's what Billy does (other than poetry) is help everyone else get more exposure for the things they do. I've been the beneficiary of Billy's generous linkage many many times, but this week, it's Billy's turn to get some attention. It's video, it's awesome. Go. Watch!

Abel Pharmboy, another SEED Blog blogger, has made a post about a change in plans, one that really worked out for the best, despite the fact that he was "miserably pissed off." He might have missed the party, but I'd bet he loved that phone call. They do say all things happen for a reason!

And that concludes the list of submissions to this week's Tavern. But like Fall, this is not the end, but another beginning! Read on for the posts I swiped from various blogs who didn't email me a link ;)

Laurie has changed locations in more ways than one. Her URL has changed again, but so has her geographic location! Laurie left for Italy a few days ago, but she hasn't blogged about it yet! I'm dying to find out how awesome it is!

Waterfall knows she can imagine running 20 miles (which is a change from before!) but Friday, she did run 10 (and my hats off to her being able to!) On her 10 mile run (makes me tired just to type it!) she had the pleasure of some breathtaking views around Lake Junaluska.

has been experiencing plenty of her own changes lately. Wednesday's changes included green sisters, flying fathers, and one more. Congratulations Mandie! I've had my head up my own rump lately apparently, I didn't even know!

And Kelly posts about a story that entails a change of players

And this one - my last 'stolen' blog post - it is not about change at all. It is blissful in it's lack of change. It's so sweet that, even though it doesn't fit my theme at all, I sat for hours trying to find a way to make it fit the theme, and finally decided, you know what? I don't care that it doesn't fit, it's too beautiful not to include. Of course, at that point, I realized that it fits perfectly. It is about one constant through a lifetime of change. It is about weathering the seasons as they roll around and through and past. It fits because I say so, because it makes me smile. Go read.

See, wasn't it a beautiful post? A perfect moment to close the Tavern too.

Abel Pharmboy of Terra Sigillata has graciously offered to host the Tavern next weekend, but please, feel free to look over your schedule and ours, and let me know if there's a weekend that you'd like to host!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Changing Seasons

The seasons are changing. Nights are chilly, the brush strokes of autumn are evident in the trees.

Yesterday, Scott cleaned the gutters, and Terra stood at the window, amazed and squealing, "Ohhh.... Mommy! Mommy! It's raining leaves!" And raining leaves it is. Our yard is collecting it's Autumn carpet.

The stores are full of Halloween costumes and decorations, but you can see them bulging, being visibly shoved from the shelves by an impatient Christmas inventory. I can't say I've ever really enjoyed the holiday season, but this year it's inspiring an even stronger sense of nostalgia and longing. Longing for the things of the past, and all that's been lost.

But on the other hand, I've always felt that Fall, rather than Spring, is the season of life and beginnings, when all things begin again. It's like pregnancy, full of anticipation. Spring may be the birth, but Autumn, these few weeks before the naked vulnerability of winter, is the conception.

It, much like the rest of the year, is full of conflicting emotions for me, but with a bit more intensity I suppose.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Tarheel tavern #86

Tarheel Tavern #86 will be at Poetic Acceptance this week. I'd love to get posts that include your thoughts on the holidays, the change of season/weather, something. But you all know me, whatever you send, I'll include! Email your entires to erin@poeticacceptance.com by Saturday night at midnight! (Unless you're running late, I like to add in late submissions!)

I'm desperately seeking Susan -or anyone else that would like to host! If you're interested, please take a peek at the Tarheel Tavern website, pick an open weekend, and email me!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I was asked today, "If you could have stopped aging at any point in your life up to the present, how old would you want to remain?"

I'm really happy with who I am at this point in my life. Especially when it comes to my relationship with my husband. We're in a really good place together, and I wouldn't want to change that at all. I'm also probably in the best place as far as my sense of self is concerned. I'm probably more self-assured now than I've ever been. I like me, and I like 'us' too. For the first time I can ever remember, I'm pretty darn comfortable in my own skin. That's a pretty good feeling. It's also more than a lot of people can say.

But my first reaction was to go back to 2000. Back before my babies started dying.

So in the end, this question, for me, turned out to be more of a choice between having Alexis and Nova back and being in a less desirable place as a person (and frankly, a less desirable person) - or being the wiser person without my babies.

I'm glad it's just a philosophical question and not a real-life choice, because I don't know which I'd choose. Losing them has made me a better wife, a better mother, and frankly, a better person, but I don't know if that would matter to me if I had the chance to have them back.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


How are ya?

I dunno.

Whatcha doin'?

Makin lemonade.

Makin' lemonade? But you don't like lemonade.

Nope. Lemon meringue pie woulda been better, but I'm all out of eggs.

So, what are ya gonna do with the lemonade? Drink it?

Nah. I'll give it to my neighbors.

Why the hell you gonna do that?

Cuz they've never had lemonade, might as well share it.

A Mother Whose Heart Must Go On

The Charlotte Observer story is out. It's a two page spread in the Arts & Living section, starting with the front page. The whole front page. You can read it online here.

'Zilla, Thank you so much for the order on Kassi's fundraiser!

Friday, October 6, 2006


Kassi just got home from school - she's in chorus this year, I remember chorus. I figure she and I are pretty much alike, can't sing all that well, but love the class. I loved chorus, but I don't know how in the world I passed the class with a voice like mine.

Anyway, Kassi's school was really supportive of our family for the Heart Walk. They raised $653 in one day for a kid that had attended their school less than 2 weeks, because they're awesome like that. Seriously.

Now they're asking that I return the favor and support them in their fundraising efforts. They're making it easy (and probably much more successful) by adding a "shop online" feature, which I'm sharing with you. I totally understand if you can't order, because you all pretty well tapped yourselves out donating to the AHA. I know.

Just in case (what with Christmas coming and all) you can view the catalogue and order at the Reader's Digest Home and Gift Collection site. If it asks for the school or organization ID (it shouldn't but...) use the organization finder and choose the Sun Valley Middle School Chorus. Kassi will get the credit, and her school will get the money. I'm thinking hard about ordering the silver fortune cookie. It just looks neat. Plus, well, Christmas is coming, and I'd rather shop online than go out there and do it in real life, so I'll probably do some Christmas shopping here too.


I haven't been doing very well with my internet friends lately. It isn't that I don't love yas. I'm just, well, lost. Blogging has required too much effort, required energy I don't have.

I have been busy with doing things, dealing with kids, meetings, schools, playdates with Terra... Christmas shopping. God how I dread this holiday season. Spent time with the multimedia guy from The Charlotte Observer his morning - rerecording a reading I'd done with the reporter, a post from August - a post from a good day in August, when there were flowers and heat waves. Now it's all falling leaves, the garden is hibernating, and there's a cold wind.

I'm curled up in myself, trying to find the warmth. Not doing so well finding the sun during this grey Autumn week.

Anyway, sorry for not doing a lot of reading or commenting. Sorry for the lack of email replies and blog comments. I'm here. It's just that I'm here and not so much there.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

All Day

All Day

I sat outside tonight contemplating
the mystery of kudzu,
the tentative nature of poetry
and the night sky.

There is no more there now
than there was before:
darkness, stars,
the chill of Autumn
and light years of emptiness.

I dreamt last night that I had cancer,
that my hair fell out
and the doctor's examination light
reflected in the smoothness of my scalp.

It was disconcerting.

Not that I had cancer,
but that I'd become a mirror
for the things around me,
that the darkness was within me,
and the light could not get through.

I'm sure there's some
subconscious interpretation,
I just don't know what it is.

I don't care much really,
but the image of that reflection
has stayed with me all day.

tags:, ,

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Senseo coffee maker

Well, I'm an asshole. I'm selling my SENSEO coffee pot on eBay cuz I need the cash. I know I know, it's probably just wrong to sell it, but I am. There's less than 2 hours left and it's at $20. Want it? Click here and buy it!

TTHT #84

Bora, the founder of The Tarheel Tavern, and rightfully titled "Carnival Blogfather" is hosting the Tarheel Tavern this week, and it is a beaut!