Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thank You...

It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. ~ Norman Schwarzkopf

These heroes are dead. They died for liberty-they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless place of rest. Earth may run red with other wars-they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. ~ Thucydides

...Thank you to the men and women-past, present and future-who believe in faith and country..who defend against all forms of persecution, prejudice and pandemonium..who sacrifice without question or that we may sleep soundly, speak freely, and live without fear. A special thank you to my hero ~ for service and valor 20 years strong.
May we always remember what we fight to protect.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Words of wisdom...

I found this on another blog some time ago...I saved it intending to print it out and hang it on the wall above my desk. Well, that day hasn't happened yet...but it's time to share it with others. I feel all selfish keeping it to myself. So..hopefully it graces a heart or grabs at a soul along the way. Enjoy.

Peace and Love..from me to all of you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I have a confession to make...

I want to join the club. I want to be a card carrying member of the Suzi Homemaker-Betty Crocker-crafty-Superwoman-Stay at home mom fellowship. I read all these wonderful beautiful blogs written by smarter women than me...and I see the fabulous projects that they produce...and I think (usually out loud) 'Holy shit, that's really cute! I can so totally do THAT!' And then I don't. Because I can't.
I'm not crafty. I don't knit, or crochet, or quilt, or sew. I don't scrapbook. I don't see uses for papers, or paints, or glitter. I can't draw. I don't garden. I don't see something in my head and then reproduce it with success. In fact, usually it's a glued hands messy crumbled fiery disaster failure.
I fear that this will get me evicted from the group. I am afraid that the other stay at home moms will force me out by majority vote at the next pom pom meeting. What will happen to me then? Who will claim me? If there is a clique of retro rebel tattooed drunk moms then I am in like there hazing involved? Virginal sacrifices? Enemy ass whoopings? (Actually...I need the president of this club to get in touch with me immediately. We have much to discuss.)
Craftiness and such aside....there are some things I do pretty well. I am a great cook (I don't DO it...but I CAN). I can bake the fuck out of something fattening (and I look damn good in an apron). I clean like a mad woman (mostly cause I am, in fact, mad.). I can write like nobodies business (not that anyone is asking me to). I can antique all day (and find the perfect spot for some random purchase). And I can take a wicked mean photograph. And that's where the creative train screeches to a halt.
I suppose that Small would tell you that I am a super awesome hilarious mom. Well...she would. On the days when she isn't all whompy. And I'm not all crazy. (My nuclear family consists of a menopausal mom and a premenstrual girl...what could possibly be more 'nuclear' than that?) But being the greatest mom on the planet isn't the same as being the greatest most creative artistically endowed mom on the planet. Exactly.
So basically....I suck as a "stay at home" anything. It's my sad and disturbing reality. I am never going to morph into June Cleaver/Martha Stewart while I sleep. Just wanted you all to know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's the end of the world...(and I feel fine.)

(Sorry. I couldn't resist!) But on a serious note (who are we kidding? Not so serious..) so I am just hearing of the impending (yet again) doom of life as we know it. Now, I don't know what you believe...but whether it's God or Jesus or Heaven or Hell or Ozzy Osbourne ~ aren't you a tad sick of all the Chicken Little sky is falling mumbo jumbo? I know I am.
Do I think the world is going to end on May 21st or October 21st or any other 21st? Maybe. I doubt it. OK-no. It's not that I doubt, or don't's that I don't care. Regardless, I think it's safe to assume I will be right here blogging on the 22nd.
I'm not afraid of death. Not because I'm a badass or anything ( I AM...but that's not where I am going with this...focus please)...I just learned and accepted long ago that there isn't any point in being afraid of shit you can't control. Death being numero uno. There are plenty of other things that I can scare myself shitless flying, and clowns, and spiders. Or flying on a plane full of clowns covered in spiders. Insert full body shudder here.
I digress. It's also not that I'm not religious. I am. But I feel like if I'm right with whoever or whatever counts with me...that's all anyone can hope for. It's basically a crap shoot people. So all the crazy apocalypse freaks can pray for me if they want to..but I am going to drink. I mean's not every day that I get to partay like it's the end of the world. Well....until the next end of the world. Or October. Or...whatever.
Not like I have anything to do the next day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


 Glad Syttende Mai! Spise! Drikke! Feire!

  (*Translation~ Happy Syttende Mai. Eat! Drink! Celebrate!)

Let’s review the history of Syttende Mai (For my non-Norwegian's OK. We can't all be perfect):

On May 17, 1814, after ratification by the national assembly organized by the independence movement on May 16, the new Constitution for Norway was signed. The reality was that this Constitution came in context with a very strong movement in Norway for independence from Sweden. Unable to gain international support forced Norway, after a short war, to negotiate with Sweden. Norway was allowed to keep its own Constitution, but had to accept the King of Sweden as its monarch.

This meant that Norway was subservient to Sweden under the King. The vision of and movement for independence continued and was AT LONG LAST brought to fruition on June 7, 1905 when, having revoked the Constitutional amendments which ended the “personal union” with the King of Sweden, the Norwegian Parliament took action to create an independent Norway with its own king. This is a very complicated and interesting process with democratic ideas and processes pressing the whole process.

Today ~Norwegian Constitution Day ~Syttende Mai ~ is the day on which to be mindful of and grateful for the enrichment of our American culture by Norwegian immigrants. Let’s realize that our lives have been enriched, enhanced, and improved with the diversity which immigrants throughout our American history have contributed.
Jeg onsker dere alle, “GOD SYTTENDE MAI!” (*Translation~ I wish you all, “Good 17th of May!”)

Now pass the Lefse!

Friday, May 13, 2011


***An extra big thank you to Blogger for being all broken and junk last night. So both my blogs were down...and I spent another whole day updating them. Great use of my time Blogger...keep up the good work!*** (Back to your regularly scheduled blog...)

You win. I am done. Even on my best day...I cannot keep waging this battle with you. And why should I? It isn't even MY battle. I am exhausted, I am broken, and I have nothing more to give you. You have proven that you have the upper are a skillful liar, a devious manipulator, and a ruthless adversary. My empathy cannot compete with your apathy. My hospitality cannot match your hostility. My virtues cannot redeem your sins. My trust cannot restore your dishonesty. And my love cannot consume your contempt.

I am admitting defeat. I am going to breathe in and out, relax, clear my mind, pray, hug my child, and survive. I am going to find strength and redemption. I am going to renew my dreams and repair my heart. I am going to seize the day and let my spirit soar. I am going to release the hold that you have on my life. I am going to release YOU.

Take your victory. Move on with your life. Let it go. Follow your heart. Fight another war...another day. Surrender control and receive abundance. Make different choices..better choices. Find your happiness. In the end, all that really matters is what you leave behind. Don't let this be your legacy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The gory truth...

My last post was acceptable. It was even a little educational. But it wasn't accurate. I DO need to clean my house..and I WILL. Eventually. But I want the people who live here with me to take an active role in that..not just appreciate it when they get home. That's bullshit. Now, I'm not saying that I blame them (entirely) for the condition of the house...I accept what responsibility falls on my shoulders. I am a stay at home mom and wannabe housewife after all. Read mom and wife...not slave maid labor. But really...there is no reason that the house should look the way it does. Not that the house is really that bad...but my OCD riddled brain produces images of slovenly pigsty.
Oh who am I kidding? It is totally their faults. I mean...I don't even watch TV (let alone the one in the living room.) so all that crap in the living room is her. And I don't all that crap in the kitchen is him. (I do eat though, so I suppose by those rules the dishes in the kitchen could be construed as mine.) And realistically, I live in my all this laundry has to be theirs. Right? And I am almost positive that we are all house I am giving the pee mess on the floor (and the fleas) to the puppy.
And I want to discuss for just a moment the comedy of errors that I have been living lately. Seriously...I have been transplanted into Murphy's Law Zone (which is a suburb of The Twilight Zone)...if it can go's best at this point to just duck and cover. Let's review the following scenarios:
~My normally sweet and quiet child has been a raving lunatic of late. I assume it is some hormonal imbalance..but she cries and makes weird faces at me and won't let me hug her anymore. Her grades are all whompy and I even had to ground her last week for not following the rules. Who is this alien moocher?
~My unusually mild mannered "boyfriend" has been sullen, angry, and irritable the last few weeks. Can I blame hormones here too? While it's possible that this is a result of increased tensions between us...I find it much more comforting to blame his recent trip to Tennessee and his questionable interactions with her. I suppose that stress about his job, our finances, and the future couldn't possibly be a factor here.
~My exceptionally bubbly and spirited self has been kidnapped by exhaustion. And my old pal Kidney Stone has decided to extend her visit a little while longer...and remodel. So on top of the insomnia, paranoia, mania and a bunch of other 'ia' words...I need a vacation. Or something.
~My dishwasher is leaking, my air conditioner can't keep up, my bank account is disagreeable, and my diet isn't working. I have a hoighty toighty wedding to attend next month and nothing to wear. I have been approached about photographing a friends wedding (of which I fear I am grossly unqualified)..and 'someone' has been stealing my precious works of art from Facebook. Grumpies are invading my bubble.
~Oh..and the parking gods declared my parking spot (in front of my house...for 2 years..) a little too inconvenient. So one impound lot visit, one hundred and thirty five dollars, and one contested ticket truck has been released from jail. Now if I could only get the DMV people to play nice about my license.
I think maybe instead of cleaning I will just relocate to a different Zone. Is there a Peace and Quiet? A Calm and Collected? Maybe an Amaretto All Day? I gotta go...I need to Google some shit.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Day In Paradise...

Emily Dickinson says that "Eden is that old fashioned house we dwell in every day." Sure it is. I think about this as I wander around my living room picking up multi colored rubber bands from some long neglected craft project, colored pencils, notebooks, movie and game cases, discarded dishes that never quite make it into the kitchen (let alone the dishwasher), empty cigarette packs (a HUGE pet peeve of mine), three days' worth of junk mail, at least two pairs of shoes, an empty Doritos bag crumpled up next to the couch, and a hairbrush (mine, but probably used by the owner of the rubber bands and shoes.) This is Eden? Paradise? Really? Damn....maybe I can just relocate?
Poets have written over and over about the joys of doubt because they lived with loving, patient, and nurturing people who created havens of quiet order in which they could work in peace and comfort. But did you know that Emily Dickinson-who rarely left her home after she was thirty four-was also very domesticated? In fact, she has said that her greatest ecstasies were cooking and writing poetry. How alike we are. I seldom leave the safety of my own walls, I love cooking and baking (when the kitchen is clean enough to work in), and while there was a time when I could write a mean sonnet...that has been replaced with journaling and blogging. I long to draw back into the stillness, the quiet, the calm.
However...I must clean. I must pick up the debris of our daily lives and bring order to this house...because I can't stand the chaos, clutter, and confusion that dwells here for another single moment. There is just no more time for poetic writings and creative outings.
The problem is this....right now is the very moment ~when I am nearly crushed physically, emotionally, and psychologically under the weight of life~when I need ordinary, uncomplicated, poetic living. Then maybe I can look around and see not just other peoples shit, but all the beauty, joy, and abundance that lies literally at my feet.
We are all given a choice each day. We can react negatively to the demands made on us...and suffer (as I do) from poor health (I live daily with debilitating pain), and exhaustion (it seems as if I never get enough sleep), and anger and resentment (when do we learn to let all that go?). Or...we can choose to live abundantly, to transform the negative into something meaningful. Attitude is everything. If I do not endow my life and my work with meaning, no one will ever be able to do it for me. If I don't recognize the value of what I am doing here at this living room or kitchen...certainly no one else can. And if I can't see the sacred meaning in a clean home and unburdened heart..then truly I have learned nothing from my travel within.
And so, to lift my spirits and celebrate my choice, I will turn up the radio and sing while I clean. I will brew another cup of coffee. I will throw open the windows to catch a great Spring breeze. And I will remind myself that at the end of the family will return to this lovely and inviting home and we can all enjoy another day in paradise together.
And then...maybe...I will be brave enough to leave the house and explore the big world around me. Maybe.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Night/Fight Night...

Seems to be a pattern here at Chez Haven. Once a week there's a fight. Then it takes one of us (let's be's me) 3 or 4 days to get over it. It's becoming tiresome, old, dated, stupid, useless, pointless....need I go on?
And just so everyone is clear...Wednesday night is "call night". The night that he is supposed to call the children. It started on Sundays (Fight Night Part 1)...but as she was unable to have the children available at discussed mapped out agreed upon designated time, she requested a move to mid-week. (She didn't even request...she TOLD.) See...our schedules, our plans, our very lives revolve around her. And her whims. And her wants. Always have, always will. So the fight tonight begins....he calls, they aren't home (as usual), he's pissed, he takes it out on me. No leaving a 'What the Fuck Bitch?' message for at me because she is incapable of playing by the rules. HER rules.
Because this is my fault. It's MY fault his wife is a bitch. It's MY fault that she insists on making everything difficult. It's MY fault that she cheated and they aren't together. It's MY fault that he doesn't see his children..and is relegated to one phone call a week. It's MY fault that he allows her to carry his balls around in her cute little Vera Bradley purse (of which I am sure we paid for.). ALL MY FAULT. Not his fault that he married her, not his fault that he stayed for years after she began sleeping with everyone else, not his fault that he has created the relationship that they have today.
He never defends himself, he never defends me, and he never defends us. And he never will. He will yell at me...he will tell me how pissed he is...but will he tell HER? Better yet, will he tell his LAWYER? (you know...the person he pays heaping sums of money to?) Nope. Instead he will let it go, and she will continue to behave this way...because he is giving her permission. "Oh's OK...whatever is best for YOU Dear...I wouldn't want to cause you any hardship or inconvenience. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me and fuck me over next week too. need more money? Here.." (I think you all get the idea.)
And as I listen to his side of the phone conversation and the tone in his voice with her..(finally on the phone with them 51 minutes late)..I can see that tonight will be another long night of screaming and crying and 'forget-it-fuck-you's'....
I am so over it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Triumph or Tragedy?...

While this title speaks to my last post...I am, of course, referring today to the death of Osama bin Laden. As an American citizen, military girlfriend, and mother...I am relieved that this battle appears to be over. But as a Christian believer, practicing hippie, and born-again human...I fear that the battle has just begun.
It is a classic war...Good vs. Evil...Right vs. Wrong....Us vs. Them. I am conflicted...yes I believe that O.b.L. was a morally corrupt, hateful, vengeful person..who killed innocent lives to further his own agenda. Yes I believe in a God that differs from his...I believe in faith and promise. I believe in civility, and faith, and peace. I also believe in justice, and Karma, and Hell. And while I differ drastically from him in my beliefs, I also believe that, as a human, I should be outraged at the overwhelming joy in his death. He was flawed, clearly, but only by OUR standards..OUR religion..OUR beliefs.
I am not saying that I condone, or even forgive, what he did. Clearly I do not. My heart hurts for all those who have been lost, who mourn, who still suffer. I cried when 9/11 happened..just like the rest of the country. I cry still. I watch soldiers and sailors leave home to defend a country that has seldom defended them. I stand with pride for the flag and I bow my head for military funerals. I pray ceaselessly for the men and women still fighting unknown and unseen enemies. Osama bin Laden believed in something very different...quite possibly something known only to himself. And while he now stands in judgement before whatever God he answers is not for me, or anyone else, to offer judgement here on Earth.
I am relieved that he is dead...that maybe now my beloved country can find some peace...maybe now those lost and those left behind can find some solace, some comfort, and some rest. Maybe now we can let go of the fear and hate that consumes our nation. Or maybe we will simply find another reason to spread hatred...find another Devil waiting in the shadows...find another focus for our fear. More likely the latter.
You see....anger begets anger. Hatred begets hatred. And as we have proven....killing begets killing. It is a vicious cycle of violence that we perpetuate and celebrate. Are we any better than O.b.L.....we killed him out of principle, duty, and retaliation. He hid behind ideals and invisible concept to which he held firm. We have lost many, true, but we have also taken lives, broken families, and held firm to our own standards. The lives of foreign soldiers are no less valuable than the lives of domestic ones.
Make no mistake...the war is just beginning. There will be followers and O.b.L. will be martyred in a way that we cannot begin to comprehend. We have spent a decade hunting and vilifying a man..a mad evil man to us...but a hero to others. There will be retribution, retaliation, and return. We may never fully recover from the tortures that we inflict upon the world. I fear the future we leave for our children.
Here is what is in my heart at this hour...we celebrate the death of a man (a man...nothing more)...and this death does nothing for us, represents nothing to us, and stands for nothing about us. We are overjoyed, but our lives remain virtually unchanged. His death will not bring our troops fact, it will increase the need for their presence more than ever. We must stand firm in faith....we must celebrate the one man...Jesus...who died willingly for us~and whose death means more than violence and war and turmoil. We need the peace, love, and forgiveness that He offers us..that He sacrificed for us...and that He promises us. Without that..we are a nation bound to repeat the sins we are trying to repent.
And once again...this is all just my humble opinion. I sit quietly in prayer today for my nation, my heart, and those that I love. I pray for understanding to consume us...and healing to begin.