Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little bit of linkage

I am attempting to catch up with... well, everything. So here's some links I've come across today that I think you should check out.

A powerful essay about LM Montgomery's depression, written by her granddaughter. Click Here Particularly poignant:

The recent Globe and Mail series certainly sheds an encouraging light on the notion of the “perfect” family, acknowledging that it may include the reality of depression and other mental illness, and suggests that the shame surrounding these subjects may be lifting.

I'll never know if my grandmother might have been inclined to seek help if she had lived in a less judgmental era or if she had had access to supportive therapy or the medications available today. I would like to think so.

I long to tell her how I wish her family could have known how to help her and how proud we all are of her accomplishments.

A very scary ad from Found in Mom's Basement, a vintage advertising blog.

This post over at Joy Unexpected, where Y writes:

What I AM saying is that I was horribly wrong to buy into the lie that I'm not deserving of love and happiness because I'm fat.

Change that to "fat and sick." Or keep it as fat, or change it to just "sick," or any combination of the two, and you'll see some of my truth, spoken by someone else. So I guess that makes it our truth, which is one of the things I love most about blogs. Because seeing your truth through somebody else's eyes makes it a little bit easier to deal with, if you ask me.

Just some random stuff I wanted to pass along.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A little light

One of the things I'm rediscovering, during this strange period of my life that I can't really understand, let alone explain... is how much I love poetry.

You see, I've always loved to read, ever since I started reading. I've read shampoo bottles in the tub, cereal boxes at the breakfast table. I read in the car to keep from getting car sick, I read while I was walking (to the detriment of those around me) because the walk was too boring. I read the entire (skipping things I couldn't have cared less about) Encyclopedia Americana set from 1980 that lives in our living room, just to see if I could. I read the dictionary... aloud. When I was 12. I've always read a wide variety - "boy" books and "girl" books (although I contend there are no such things,) "kids" books, "young adult" books, and "adult" books; fiction, non-fiction; fun and fascinating, scary and serious, all genres & forms welcome.

But sometimes I go through these periods where reading anything besides comforting, familiar authors is beyond what I have the strength and energy for. Because reading something powerful can be exhausting or invigorating, enlightening or lighthearted, but it always, always makes you feel. So there are times when feeling anything else is just beyond me, when it feels like every nerve ending in my body is just too exposed: Not just physically, cuz that's my everyday, but emotionally. It's all just too much.
Eventually, though, I come out of these slumps and I wonder why I stopped reading certain things.

Poetry is one of the first things I stop reading when I come to these times, and it's almost always the thing I miss the most. But I'm just not a person who can force themselves to read poems... poems are for savoring - you can gulp them or sip them, but if you're not enjoying them, you're doing it wrong. That's not the way poetry is taught - once you're out of middle school, anyways - but it's the way it should be taught. Learning the meaning behind the thing is great, but if you don't feel it, you won't care enough. It makes me cry thinking about all the dissection we did of poems in high school and college: instead of picking them apart, we should have been putting them together, trying to appreciate the whole package and wondering at the glory of each piece as we did so.

Poems, like picture books, are made for reading aloud: you need to hear the rhythm of the words, feel the way your tongue moves as you speak the words, hear the rumble in your chest as you weave your way through the lines, listen to the pauses at each period, question the comma placement or line ending as you take a breath.

Being back in a place where I can hear the poems, where I can feel them - even though a lot of other things are cloudy and scary - feels good.

I'm going to share a bit of that with you guys today, and whenever else I feel like it: Waaay back when, I used to post poems on Thursdays. I'm thinking of restarting that tradition, but I've got to find a day of the week that works for me now, so it may need some tweaking. For now, here's a poem to keep your Wednesday working.

I saw a Butterfly Today by Venos Tricon

I saw a butterfly today
Small and green with no wings
Crawling into shadows\hiding from a world who ignores it’s subtle beauty
Afraid to never be noticed…appreciated

I saw a butterfly today
Camouflaged and shielded in self-made walls
Neglecting the world of it’s gentle touch
Afraid to be met with a forceful hand

I saw a butterfly today
Wings new and fresh
Excited with exhilaration
Facing a world with new courage
Knowing it can not be harmed

I saw a butterfly today
Blue and gold streaked the sky
embracing the sunlight’s rays
Fluttering around my head
Carrying my heart on her flight

I saw a butterfly today

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Best Shot Monday

On a Monday and everything!

So I tried to get the kiddos to pose for pictures before Youngest Nephew went back to school and stopped coming on a weekly basis (wah!), and it was... interesting. I was remembering fondly how easy it used to be to take pictures of the Lil Girl... back when she stayed where I put her. No such thing, now, and who can blame her. BUT, I did manage to get a few, and wanted to show you a then and now of my chicklets:

Here's the pair in August of 06, when Lil Girl was barely 3 months old and her big brother was six, and here they are two weeks ago, Youngest Nephew at 8, Lil Girl at 2.

(And yes, I do occasionally make my bed, if it just so happened that we were washing the sheets on both of these days, well, it just makes the comparisons easier, right?)

Iconic Shot (1)
Originally uploaded by bbackprple

Iconic Shot 2
Originally uploaded by bbackprple

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's that time of year again

and I know you're all wicked excited! No, I'm not talking about back to school, or even the fabulous transition from summer to fall, but, of course, the fact that we're coming up on Heating Pad Weather!

See, I knew you were as excited as I am. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not as if I've ever stopped using the heating pads - that would be foolish and crazy! It's just that using a heating pad in the warmer (and hot as hell) weather makes you feel like... well, like a crazy fool. If it's the only thing that helps with your pain, you suffer through it, but there's nothing more uncomfortable to the rest of your damn self than sweating outrageously because your neck won't stop aching.

I do tend to do a lot more of the icing in the summer, and the heating in the winter. This is only logical, and contrary to popular opinion, getting my Master's Degree didn't educate all the common sense right outta me. But what works best for the worst pain, generally, is heat. A lot of it, I mean HOURS of it, as at high a temperature as possible. So that, I'm nice and numbed up (and my sensitive skin a veeery pink/red color) are the signs that optimal pain "relief" has been accomplished. And it's virtually impossible to accomplish those things when it's 85 degrees out.

So there's a lot of things about fall that I look forward to: the crispness in the air, the lack of flowery smells, the Halloween costumes yet undiscovered, but right now? I'm just glad I can reclaim my heating pads.

And, yes, I have a million things still to talk about, a million things going on here and IRL that I should say... something about, but in the meantime, and because if I don't write something, then I might not ever write anything, and I'm not ok with that.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Star Wars Party Book: Recipes and Ideas for Galactic Occasions The Star Wars Party Book: Recipes and Ideas for Galactic Occasions by Mikyla Bruder

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ok, the book itself isn't all that amazing, but getting my 8 year old nephew to plan menus, make a shopping list, decorate for a "fancy dinner" and then help cook and clean up? I'd give this a jillion stars. We're having our second annual Star Wars Dinner tomorrow, at his request, so it was definitely worth however much it cost. (Although, I'm pretty sure I got it at the UBS, so it probably didn't cost that much in the first place.)

The recipes are just... regular recipes with Star Wars names, but they're interestingly presented, and creative (Han Solo Hoagies, Rancor Snacks, Jabba's Juice). And the pictures of the action figures with the food are a great bonus, and provide that extra incentive for kids to move from just reading about it to doing it.

There's two other Star Wars cookbooks, and I might know a little boy who's getting them for Christmas.

View all my reviews.