December 2012

vacation books

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year! Life has been like a whisper lately. A slow whisper, which is sort of funny to imagine; whispering slowly. huuuuusssshhhhhhh…. But really, I can’t think of any other way to describe it. I feel like I’ve been walking on my tip toes, trying to be quiet, slowly. Floating a little, maybe. Watchful. Aware. Careful. It’s good. (Even though my toes would hurt if I were actually doing this, which I’m not. It’s just a metaphor. Sort of.) The holidays bring this hush, even in the midst of all the parties and plates of cookies and opening and giving and receiving and and and… In the moments when we are home, which is as much as possible in the midst of it all, we’re wrapped up in blankets and movies and each other. That’s not to say we aren’t arguing and fussing and sighing like normal humans, but there’s so much […]



December 28, 2012

My Grandma hopes to move into an independent living place that is attached to an assisted living place. We checked it out last spring and loved that it had a movie theater and yoga classes, but mostly we love it now because two of my Grandma’s sisters live there. For now she’s on the waiting list and the waiting list isn’t budging. That means she stays in her home of so many years and doesn’t really get to know when things will change. Maybe this was the last Christmas Day in that house, maybe it wasn’t. We don’t know yet, and still I tried to decide if I should cry or not. I went downstairs, to the basement with the ping pong table, by myself at one point and stood looking around. I could hear the mumbling of conversation above me, through the floor. An occasional burst of laughter and the stomping quick-feet […]


Tuesday is Christmas Day and then the following wee,k Tuesday is New Year’s Day! Just Write therefore asked for a vacation. I said yes because I’m nice like that. We (Just Write and I) will be back to the free-writing on January 8th! See you then. Peace, Us


so this is love love love…

December 20, 2012

I share this song every year and this year more than ever, it means so much. in the midst of the pain and darkness, love was all around Preparations were made For his celebration day He said “eat this bread and think of it as me Drink this wine and dream it will be The blood of our children all around The blood of our children all around” The blood of our children all around Father up above, why in all this anger have you filled Me up with love Fill me love love love Love love love Love love And the blood of our children all around So the story goes, so I’m told The people he knew were Less than golden hearted Gamblers and robbers Drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers Like you and me Rumors insisited he soon would be For his deviations Taken into custody by the authorities Less […]


mmmmm hmmmm…there are spaces in this photo where wreaths once were… My mom has been making these wreaths every year since I can remember. They’re one of my favorites, and so simple. For her, anyway. She’s a very good bakestress. Which could be read as “gets stressed while baking” which would also be true, but I mean that she should have a title because she’s so good at baking. Anyway. When she makes these wreaths, they turn out gooey-er than mine did. You can’t see the corn flakes peeking through so much. I might be getting smarter with the baking myself because I made a mental note to increase the amount of marshmallows next time. (I don’t know why I’m using any form of the word bake, because you don’t even have to bake these at all. But what can I call us? Melters? We melted these wreaths! That seems weird.) For these […]


Just Write {66}

December 17, 2012

Ryan walked through the door with Elsie and Asher. Miles and I had fed and watered the chickens and cleaned up the house. I’d been writing and Miles was playing something on the iPad. He’s now off the iPad for fighting with his brother over it. It was Friday. It was supposed to just be movie night and pizza and popcorn night. I held Asher and Elsie close, just like I had squeezed Miles after school. Ryan put an arm around me and I bit back tears because I wasn’t ready to answer “why are you crying, Mommy?” So instead I asked Ryan to start a fire in the fireplace and the kids stayed right there because fires are so cool and good unless you get too close and get burned. We watched over their distance from the danger from our chairs and took in the warmth. We shared time just thinking and […]


{photo credit} I heard and saw the word helpless more times than I can count yesterday. As the number of slain children increased and the information on exactly what happened in Newtown, Connecticut continued to change, we sat helpless. Losing all confidence in the goodness of humanity is terribly uncomfortable, but it’s the way this feels, at least while it is unfolding before our eyes–on TV and Twitter and through Facebook links to the latest news. Oh. So it was Adam, not Ryan. Oh, his mother was a teacher there? Oh. He shot her there? WHY? Oh. No. He shot her at home…then WHY go to the school? All of this uncertainty forces so much insecurity. And while we’re feeling distraught and helpless, we try to think out loud with one another, to gain some semblance of control. Gun control. Control over the mentally ill. Control over violence in our media and entertainment. […]


I can’t.

December 14, 2012

I saw it on Twitter first. My sandwich is still sitting there half eaten. It will not go down, not now. It will sit here with grief and me and my choice to fight fear with everything else I have and I have words and this random space on the web and that’s why I’m here. I didn’t know where else to go because my first instinct to gather my children from daycare and school is, as much as it feels right, not. It is a fear response and I will not bow to fear because unspeakable tragedies may force it up and out but I do not have to keep it here with me. Fear is where it begins, I think. This kind of evil is born of fear, somewhere back there or right here, in the lives of the crazed minds connected to hands connected to guns going off in the […]


I use and love the photo editing site PicMonkey. I edit the photos you see around here on the EO, and I even used it to edit the photos I took for my cousin at her wedding. I love how user-friendly PicMonkey is and how there continues to be no registration required. Not jumping through hoops is a win. That cute little PicMonkey is good about keeping up with the changing seasons as well. He (she?) had great Halloween fonts and creepy overlays, frames, etc., and now for winter, PicMonkey has a wide variety of wonderland tools. I truly love giving photos that extra personal touch, so I’ve gotten to know PicMonkey very well. But just in case you’re a photo editing novice and wonder what you would do with Winter Wonderland editing tools, here’s some help for you: On the home page, click on upload a photo. This opens the photo editor with […]


Just Write {65}

December 10, 2012

I pressed the coin into his glove-covered hand. I want you to have this. It’s the first one I got. It’s the 24 hour one, they give it to you even if it’s been more than 24 hours.  It had been a month when I showed up for the first time. I was white knuckling it. I was terrified. Not drinking for the rest of my life seemed like a bad idea. Turns out it really is all about taking 24 hours at a time. One sober person told me at the beginning, don’t think. what are you doing thinking? You can’t think about it!  That’s like telling me to stop breathing, that’s what I thought. I suppose he meant something about not thinking about this being for the rest of my life. Just for today. I can do anything for one day, right? Today was no joke, almost three years later. I […]


I’m joining in with Jennifer and telling you 7 update-ish sorts of things in very short story form. Ready?  Go. The other day Asher and I watched a chicken hawk nearly capture one of our beloved chickens in its mean claw feet. I spooked it when I freaked out, pounding on the patio door. (Dear chicken, you’re welcome.) Now I’m paranoid. I keep thinking I hear a hawk swooping through the air while making that unmistakable hawk caw-shriek. There’s probably a metaphor in there somewhere. I wrote a post about generational faith, my mom’s parents and how they were so different from me, but we’re the same. It’s over at A Deeper Family and now it’s featured on Five Star Friday, which is such an honor.  A long time ago, my friend Cecily was at a conference and she tweeted something about it being important to have a newsletter. I was all, huh. […]


Just Write {64}

December 3, 2012

She follows me, still. I came from the bathroom, to find her waiting in my bedroom. I was wrapped in a towel and dripping a little from the shower. She pointed and laughed. She does that when I have wet hair. At least that’s what I tell myself she’s laughing about. I pulled open the drawer with bras and dug around, wondering when I’ll ever purchase a post-breastfeeding one that actually fits me. Elsie was putting on my shoes and clomping on the hardwood floor, trying to not be a falling-over toddler even though she is one. I dropped the towel and suddenly she was by my side, back to just the footies of her pajamas and she was pointing but not laughing. She pointed to her mouth and pointed back at me, like she suddenly remembered breastfeeding. She, the one who decided to be done all in one grand statement in one […]


Do you wonder sometimes if the next generations are going to live in the movie Wall-E? Everyone will just float around in their isolated little transporters sipping Big Gulps and staring at screens? And everyone will be unhealthy from never standing up or going outside to walk around and we’ll just make beeping sounds to communicate, but only when we have to and we’ll open everything everywhere by having a little thingy read our fingerprints. People won’t even procreate anymore, but the human race will only continue because babies will be made in labs and then they’ll be raised by robots cause we’ll be too busy with our screens… okay no really. I really really have to believe it won’t be that bad, but if I’m being totally honest, I get sad when I think about the future and community and connection. I wrote about this at Owning Pink and you can go […]

{ 1 comment }

I wish I would have thought to write down every good thing that hit me in the gut that I’ve heard at recovery meetings. I haven’t. I would love to leaf through that notebook, to be reminded of all the simple truths spoken there. Many of them I’ve heard so many times, but on certain days, I finally really hear them. It would be so nice to look in my notebook, at a date in a corner, to see when I first “got” something and to ask myself if I still have it. In reality, I have no way to do that, except to keep going back. That’s how I’ll be refreshed, I think. When complacency or pride slips in, I can hustle in the door and it will slam behind me and everyone will turn to see and then I’ll sit down and hold my coffee and be changed. All the truths […]