Archive for February, 2008


I have decided that the best way to deal with the atrocity that is February 29 is to just treat it as a bonus day.  Meaning, whatever I do today, it doesn’t count. 

Calories don’t count. 

Monies spent don’t count. 

Treating myself to a massage and a chocolate soda doesn’t count. 

Copious amounts of adult beverages don’t count. 

Everything is free with no guilt and no consequences. 

We will return to our regularly scheduled grousing on March 1. 

— Mox

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Odds, ends.

Ok, so I generally don’t mind February too much because it’s a short month and once you get it out of the way the weather starts to clear.  Except as you know this year is Leap Year so we all have to endure February for one more day.  The humanity! 

I am so frickin’ tired of bundling up just to go outside, y’all.  My arms, my legs, my feet all yearn to see and feel the sun again.  I don’t know how all y’all up north do this for the majority of the year.  No wonder you drink. 

Of course I need to be a leeetle more regular at the gym, so that when the Great Uncovering comes I’ll look less like a walrus.  An albino walrus. 

I’ve inherited a bag full of camera equipment.  Unfortunately, while it’s nice equipment, it’s all film.  I’m deciding what to do with it — do I put it up on eBay or do I try to use it and learn something?  One thing I’ve always wanted to do is learn to do photography, you know, take pictures that evoke a feeling. I see a lot of really nice stuff on the blogs I visit, and I see a lot of it in my job, and I can’t help but think that it’s a learnable skill. 

Yesterday a miracle occurred.  I called to see where we were on the list for Spawn’s testing, and I actually got to talk to a real, live person.  And that real, live person was able to give me an appointment date for the intake interview (which is just me going in there and talking to the doctor about the problems, and probably crying) which is in three weeks.  I don’t know how quickly the testing will follow after that, but it’s the first glimmer of hope I’ve had in a while.  I’m trying not to inflate it any more than necessary but when you’ve been wallowing in a pit of frustration and despair that’s a tall order. 

One more day in February.  Woo! 

— Mox

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Lion in Winter

From my walk the other day. 


Sad looking feller, huh? 

I know how he feels.  Cold.  Snowed-upon.  Weary. 

It snowed again last night.  Not much, just about half an inch, but enough to slicken the streets and call off school again today.  I swear, these kids aren’t learning a thing this month. 

It’s snowing right now. 

I am so ready for spring. 

— Mox

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A couple of years ago for Christmas my mother bought me the complete set of Calvin & Hobbes cartoons.  I love Calvin & Hobbes.  There’s just something about that little guy’s world that reminds me of what it’s like to be a kid. 

I’ve been reading the set and chuckling a bit over it, but also I’m starting to really identify with Calvin’s poor mother.  Because, really, some of what happens in those cartoons is so eerily like the things that go on in our household. 

A while back I asked my (three) readers what gender they thought Spawn was, and the responses I got were about half right.  (I am not saying which half is right.  You’ll just have to keep on assuming whatever it is you assume.)  And it occurs to me that their vision of my kid might just come from the funny papers. 

Truth be told, I enjoy a lot of Spawn’s little quirks, because at least with them there’s never a dull moment in our house. 

Recently, a woman I know gave an assessment of a family she’s familiar with, thus:  “They parent through medication because they have no parenting skills.”  And it sort of hit me at my core because in the back of my mind I am preparing myself to hear “Spawn needs medication.”  And I wonder, am I lacking on the parenting skills?  Is this why Spawn is so damn difficult to manage?  To me it was a blow, a condemnation of people who choose to medicate their kids, who might end up being me someday. 

I am being far too sensitive about this right now.  I know that. 

I found a cartoon online the other day that sort of hit home with me with regard to how I perceive medication.  Someone took liberties with my little buddy Calvin, and it sort of bothers me down in my core.  Not because of the liberties, but because of the damnation of medication.  It is what I am afraid of, that medication will alter who Spawn is. 


I’m in kind of a bad place with all of this right now, and I can’t step back from it.  But I have to do the heavy lifting now so that I will be prepared later. 

— Mox

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Well, folks, we are somewhere past the 2/3 mark in winter.  Of course the seasons don’t really pay too much attention to the calendar that mere mortals live by, but at this point the balance of winter is shrinking day by day. 

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how pleased I am about that. 

Yesterday it snowed.  Again.  It was the good kind of snow, the kind that makes good snowballs.  Unfortunately all it did was dust the ground and the trees, so any sledding or fort building or snowman making that would ordinarily be done with packing snow will have to wait.  It goes without saying that I would personally prefer to wait forever for a snow like that, but I have a seven-year-old who was mightily disappointed about the whole bit.

I took a walk in the snow yesterday.  While it’s true that I don’t particularly care for cold weather, I do appreciate beauty in all its’ forms.  The snow that dusted the ground was on top of the ice we had last week, and that made for a lovely sight on all the trees.  It was nice to be alone outside (I was the only one crazy enough to go out for a walk) with just my thoughts and the snow and ice melting off the trees.  You really see stuff when you’re meandering about. 

A few things on my mind during my jaunt: 

1) While I have set in motion the process to get Spawn tested for a variety of learning disabilities and/or behavioral problems, the fact of the matter is, it’s a slow boat.  After sending off a whole packet of information to a testing agency, I have yet to even get a phone call from them to set up an appointment.  I’ve called but have gotten nowhere.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the school year will be over before we know anything; Spawn’s first grade year is shot.  This makes me sad on a lot of levels.  I mean, you want your kid’s first school experience to be a good one, so as not to taint the rest of the kid’s school career.  I so wanted Spawn to love school.  Spawn does not love school. 

2) Because this testing thing is taking so frickin’ long, Spawn’s pediatrician has suggested another place to do testing, on the off chance we’d get in sooner rather than later.  The pediatrician even went so far as to call this other place and get our name on the list.  I got the paperwork to fill out on Friday.  Basically all they wanted from me is one sheet of information plus a copy of my insurance card.  I’m guessing they’ll have me fill out a big packet of stuff at a later time, or at least I’m hoping so.  It does not make me feel very comfortable to not give them a pile of information.  Especially since the name of the place has the word “Psychiatric” in it. 

3) My pastor is leaving our church.  My denomination moves pastors around quite a bit so that’s nothing new to me, but in general they don’t announce the move until about mid-May.  In this case the announcement came not from our pastor but from his boss.  So, the district leader comes in on a snowy Sunday in mid-February and announces that we will be getting a new pastor in June…?  Something sounds fishy to me.  My pastor has been taking subtle pokes at the church membership for a while now in his sermons and I’m betting this has something to do with it.  And dang it, I really like this guy, too.  I “get” his sermons. 

4)  I’m wondering if the time for me to leave my church is now.  There is something to be said for family and tradition, and I am attending the same church that my grandparents attended, that my mother was raised in.  Except for a brief moment in time where I went to Mass as a child with my dad, I have been raised in this church.  I’m okay with the denominational church doctrine as a whole, but it’s in this particular church that I am beginning to question my presence there.   I’ve seen an ugly side to the people there, and while I know that the seamier side of Christianity often shows up within the church walls, I am beginning to think that my spirit can be better fed and led elsewhere. 

5)  As I often do when I find myself at a crossroads, I’ve started looking for the larger picture here.  What am I doing here — physically, emotionally here?  Why am I in the place that I am, and what am I supposed to learn about it?  Where is it all leading me?  Did I miss a turn somewhere? 

6)  Stopped in the other day at my old job, just to say hi and see how things were going.  The tales told there made me very glad that I don’t have to deal with that load of crap anymore.  Yes, I’ve done the right thing.  At least as far as that’s concerned. 

For a two-mile loop through the snow, there were a lot of things swirling around in my head.  But the act of walking, the physical movement, keeps me off meds. 

— Mox

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I have to give Winter merit points for variety this year.  Usually it’s just cold and gloomy and moist around the edges and we just sort of put our heads down and muddle through until the end of March.  Which is fabulous for both your posture and your mental state, as  you can imagine.  But this winter, and more specifically these past two weeks, we’ve had some doozy weather.  The vagaries of it all have been entertaining — 70° one day, snow the next — but even at that you get to a point where enough is enough. 

Yesterday we had an ice storm.  Not snow, not sleet, but ice.  Ice is lots of fun.  Ice makes your tree limbs and power lines sag.  Ice makes your car a cocoon.  Ice closes schools and forces you to stay home from work.  And since it is ice and not snow, you really can’t get out and do much of anything that’s enjoyable, like sledding or snowman-making. 

An unplanned day off like that sometimes throws me off-kilter.  I get very loaf-y.  Yesterday I was sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee at 10:30, slack-jawed and with no further thought in my brain other than what I was going to eat for lunch.  By 3:00 I had made a pan of brownies and a loaf of banana bread.  Oh, I had things I could have done, closets I could have cleared out, things I could have listed on eBay.  I had absolutely no motivation whatsoever. 

And here we are at Friday and I’ve gotten nothing accomplished this week, other than a new haircut. 

— Mox

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So yesterday was a Down Day.  We all have those days.  (And if you want to try and tell me you don’t have days like that I will have to just tell you that You Lie.) 

I’ve been feeling rather beat up as of late, ganged up on and picked on and generally unsure of myself.  It’s a combination of things — major home repairs with no funding in sight, all the problems with Spawn’s behavior and my inability to get it diagnosed in a timely manner, uncertainty with my husband’s job, serious and deeply personal spiritual wrestling, a feeling that there are some things I will never get accomplished in my life — that have put a hole in my boat.  I’ve found myself oversensitive to what would ordinarily be innocuous comments, which is not like me by, like, a mile.  I’m defensive and on the offensive and in general not someone you’d want to play with right now. 

So yesterday, with all of this stuff swirling around in my brain, I zipped up my coat, tucked my chin into my scarf, and set off for the salon.  I’ve been letting my hair grow out for about three months now (an exercise in patience if there ever was one) and have been trying to find a new hairstyle.  I printed off the hairstyle I thought I wanted to attempt and took it to my stylist, whom I have been fortunate enough to have been with for better than 15 years.  She knows my hair.  She knows me.  And believe me, I need that when it comes to my hair, because I want my hair to be easy.  And she knows how incredibly picky I can be about my hair and how I want it to be a five-minute job rather than a 30-minute job every day. 

I showed her the picture of the hair I wanted and lo and behold, I picked a style that should be easy to deal with.  And completely opposite of what I’ve been doing all these years, which is to say, every hair in place.

Turning 40 will cause a woman to rethink her hair.  It’s true. 

So she gave me the haircut I chose.  And…

So far I like it.  At first I worried that it made me look a little too much like my mother, which is what I am desperately trying to move away from.  It’s bad enough that I open my mouth nowadays and her voice comes out of it.  So I asked my best friend and she said no, I don’t look like my mother even though I sound a hell of a lot like her.  Which is, whew, a relief. 

My husband?  Still has not noticed. 

Funny thing:  Tuesday I had a meeting at church, and during our discussion about Very Serious Things, I found myself looking at the hair of the other women in my meeting and assessing whether or not I wanted my hair like that.  Clearly I am out of my tree.  Sometimes I picture God sighing and shaking his head over me and what goes on in my brain. 

Funny thing #2:  After I left the salon with my new hair, I felt about 10 pounds lighter.  I actually felt so much less beat up just because I had a new haircut.  How crazy is that? 

Ok, enough nattering.  You want to see the hair?  Here ’tis: 


Except it’s not quite as long, it’s not red, and I’m not Reba McEntire. 

Although I’m rethinking the red part.  I’ve never colored my hair in my life, but hell, now that I’m 40 I just might start. 

— Mox

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