that could be lame

April 17, 2016

If you hardly ever say anything, do people listen more closely when you do? I used to say a lot here. My dad is one of those people that doesn’t talk that much. He is also the kind of person that, because he waits to speak, ya best listen when he does. It’s going to be worth listening to, truly. (No pressure, dad.) My friend Jean had a stroke several years ago. It took a toll on her body and makes it so that her words come out slowly. Her brain will have it all lined up nice, words flowing to sentences and then paragraphs and pages, but it comes out like the dripping of a slow-leak faucet, or sometimes simply like a person who has had a stroke. This can be terribly frustrating for her. It is one of the things I adore about her. Well…that’s…lame…she said recently. And that was it. […]

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Just Write {196}

October 27, 2015

We were talking about something totally other than the next thought that came to my mind and then out my mouth, the way I do, abruptly “Hey! Did you find out about your chair!?” She was stumped, a little mystified, and then laughing hysterically. I had forgotten to tell her my train of thought, to bring her along with my change of subject… “It must be so exhausting to have your brain!” (She said this with tears streaming down her face, gasps between guffaws.) In my defense, it is important, this chair business. She purchased it weeks ago and it was to arrive to her home and has not appeared. We need to remember to call that place and demand that chair. We haven’t yet, too many other random things have come to mind and taken over. But still, where has the chair gone… Earlier we were in the coffee drive-thru, where we […]

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Just Write {169}

January 6, 2015

We played music while removing the wallpaper in Elsie’s room. Another day, Nanny and Bapa came and helped us paint the walls purple. That little girl is in purple heaven. We played music while cooking and doing dishes. I looked over at her in the midst of all the doing, and she was dancing. I took her hands and spun her around. We got the giggles. I dipped her, I twirled her. We shook our booties. The weather took a turn for the even more cold, and we rush from one inside to another. Boots, hats, mittens, coats…it’s all so time-consuming and still needed, for the few seconds it takes to run to the car or the house and all the places. It is tempting to stay put, hide, cover ourselves and wait. But we need to keep going, we need to dance. Lately, if I’m being as open as I can be […]

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Just Write {165}

December 9, 2014

I was driving and thinking, Who in their right mind would board a plane or go on a long road or train track trip to come here this time of year? But I was still wishing you all could see it, the magic and mystery of west central Minnesota, at night, in the heart of winter. Where is the heart of winter? I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t start pulsing until after the holidays, but I think they actually call that the “dead of winter”. Don’t come at that time, wait until spring. The driving at night thing doesn’t happen a lot for me anymore. I’m either tucking in kids or myself, getting ready to start another super early day, when I leave just after sunrise. I come very close to driving in the dark most every morning, with the kids to school, or to The Building to bust out some writing work. […]

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be here now

October 9, 2014

I was driving along and paying close attention to how many leaves have fallen. Holy buckets, I thought. It happens so fast. And it was so gusty, so the leaves were swirling and whirling and even getting caught up in the air, sweeping circles above the minivan. It was like they were trying to fall back up to the branches. I was pulling a trailer with a lawn mower in it, because I am small town Minnesota, hear me roar. I was on my way to the Cre8tive Escape building, which everyone in my life, including me, lovingly calls, The Building. The lawn, it did need a’mowin’. And we have our Grand Opening in ONE WEEK and maybe mowing isn’t the highest priority for that, but it is a high priority for me because the renters at the building should have a nice place to come to work and create, not a marshy […]

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Just Write 155

September 30, 2014

They can teleport, they say. And every imaginary moment is voiced, narrated, more than actually played out. Now this is when I walk in and I get so mad that my eyes are flaming… no, no…first you actually have to tell me which way it’s coming.  okay, that way. Start there. I have no idea which way you’re pointing, stop spinning in circles!  So we teleport while spinning!  It changes as it changes, saving face, winning at making up the rules. They’ll do this the rest of their lives, they just don’t know that they are practicing. They call each other on doing it “wrong” and they decide for the others their moments of demise. The smallest ones are quiet followers. They sit on the front steps of the big old blue house across the street and watch the bigger kids still deciding how things work. This is a dead end street, so […]

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Just Write 154

September 23, 2014

I saw in his face what something in me already knew. He was tired from staying up too late and drinking more than he planned to drink. He was tired from thinking and thinking again and thinking about his drinking again. They were both tired, he and his wife, from years of building things and watching them crumble, building them back up again. That’s life, that’s parenting, that’s marriage, that’s work. But there was More, the mysterious illness of a child. And we who are prone to drink, genes broken up and begging for More, we will drink More. That’s what we do. Until we don’t. So there we stood, not going to church but meeting in a church, and we recognized our matching sickness because of a hesitant willingness to see it. He finally said it out loud. All the wonderings of self, the fears and the unknowns that are truly known […]

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Just Write 151

September 2, 2014

There is a kind of tired that feels so good while it also hurts to not be able to move your arms without hating painting. The kind that comes after hard work, together. After finishing something, or working your way (slowly) toward finishing. It’s hard to keep going and everything is screaming that I’m OLD, but it’s worth it. Like childbirth. Only not.that.painful. We are painting and painting at the Cre8tive Escape building, getting ready for our first creator’s retreat in the ginormous room downstairs next weekend. NEXT WEEKEND. We have had helpers, people who care about us and come to roll on paint or scrape the old carpet glue off the cement floor. We pay them with….love. (How nice and generous, huh?) I thought you might want to see what the ginormous room looked like before:   Ironically, the words on the wall from the previous renters of the downstairs space say […]

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Just Write {146}

July 29, 2014

I was folding laundry, thinking, making piles. We don’t have a TV in any kind of way at this new place. It’s been almost two months in here and no one seems to notice. The kiddos have their iPad time and they call it good. They slip-n-slide and sidewalk draw and play some sort of terribly loud game in the basement with big plastic balls bouncing off the empty walls. They play with our new guinea pig, Butterscotch. They argue and fuss and fight, too. We had some kind of contraption hooked up to the Internet that would play us Hulu and Netflix but then it stopped working, so we stopped using it. No one seemed to notice. There are some things that you can pay more attention to if you fold laundry with no TV on. The sounds in silence. The way your body feels too tired to pick up even one […]

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Here are the options: 1. Focus on what is going wrong, staying wrong, and has been wrong in the past, and what will surely be wrong in the future. (Not forgetting that “wrong” is relative.) 2. Focus on what is going right, staying right, has been right in the past, and will surely be right in the future. (Not forgetting that “right” is relative.)   Results of choosing #1:  UGH, GRRR, Blergh, Pffft…, eff this, I suck, you suck, we all suck, the end. (In other words, stay stuck.) Results of choosing #2: I will survive, I’m like a bird, hear me roar, stayin’ alive, baby I’m a firework, I’m a survivor and I’m gonna make it… (In other words, get shit done and move forward.)   Also. Guess what? I’ll be running a collaborative workspace for creatives/artists/writers and the like…in New London, the art mecca of West Central Minnesota. It’s downtown, in a […]

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Just Write {134}

May 6, 2014

It’s a short flight from Atlanta to Austin. I’m on my way home from Mom 2.0 Summit. It was held at the beautiful Ritz Carlton hotel in Buckhead. The summit is a really well done and totally-worth-it experience, and It was a lot for me. Right now is not necessarily the best time to be away, to feel so out of sorts. Traveling makes me get all out of sorts no matter how intentional I am about it all, trying to remember to just be. This morning I woke up way too early to catch a return shuttle to the airport and it was all so smooth and simple and then there I sat, two hours before boarding, at the gate, writing and slumping over a little in my seat from being so tired. All I did last night was stay in. I ate really fantastic french fries and I was writing and […]

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Just Write {125}

March 4, 2014

I’ve been away, in San Diego, where it rained cats and dogs, unexpectedly. Well, we didn’t expect that, anyway. Not in San Diego, where people go to escape all kinds of weather. But we (my friend Sarah, and I) still thought it was beautiful, while we also got mad at the rain. At one point, a palm tree fell just feet away from me, as the wind blew hard across and over the bay and into it. Boom, it said. And I gasped. The guy next to me, another conference attendee, said something about not seeing that every day. Or maybe it was just, Wow, I can’t remember. I came back to sit by Sarah with two coffees, wet clothes, and a story about a fallen palm tree. None of this really matters all that much, while it does, because it’s the sort of thing we’ll remember. But most of all, I think […]

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Just Write {112}

November 25, 2013

Winter even blows through Austin, Texas. You might not have known that. My blood has thinned through summer or so folks say, and I am consistently cold, buried under layers of blankets, two pairs of socks on, and an extra sweater. The rain keeps falling down and down and puddles around tree trunks and along curbs. The kids keep forgetting it’s not 100 degrees. Just yesterday, Asher came rushing back inside, bare feet and a t-shirt and shorts. It was 30-something out there and he was flushed and shaking. We hadn’t seen his exit, just agreed to it from the other room and off he went. We just assumed he had on shoes, and pants, and a jacket. But assuming with little boys is for the birds. This calls for hot cocoa, just like Minnesota. And a talking-to or seven, about the benefits of dressing for the weather. All of this makes me […]

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Texas Conference For Women

November 8, 2013

I had this dream last night that I had a really thick (and totally forced) southern drawl and I kept embarrassing myself with it. I hope that doesn’t become a reality on November 17th because how predictable… On Tuesday, November 19th, I’ll be attending the Texas Conference for Women. If you’re from these here parts, don’t miss this! Keynote speakers include Rachael Ray, Jenny Lawson–The Bloggess, Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee and many more. There will be a Career Pavilion, Exhibitors Hall, Round Tables and over 100 experts speaking on various topics that empower women to live and work with intention and success. For more information, visit the Texas Conference For Women’s website, follow #TXConfWomen on Twitter and Like the conference page on Facebook Let me know if you’ll be there so we can bump into each other on purpose!  

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Just Write {107}

October 22, 2013

This morning waking up felt like it had something to do with quicksand. I made us run late, but just a “it’s going to be okay” from Ryan reminded me not to freak out about it. The boys helped get Elsie up and ready and that made me smile. I brought her next door and another mom was dropping off her boy and I told the room, “I overslept. LIKE A BOSS.” They just stared at me, and my bedhead and probably the lines still creased into my cheek. Okay then! SeeyaBYE! I’m still walking Asher in to school these days, it’s what he needs. But I wanted less people looking at my bedhead and creases, so I told Miles he would need to walk Asher today, down his hallway. He said yes without complaining, which made me smile. LIKE A BOSS. I am very sneaky and proud to have a backup plan on mornings […]

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when the dog bites, when the bee stings… then I get really maaaad. oh wait, but that’s not the point. I just wanted to share a few things I love, so get that song out of your head. Instead, try this song, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Brady Toops (along with two of his friends with beautiful voices). FYI: Brady Toops is 1/3 of sibling triplets and his parents were my teachers when I was a kid and he was a toddler five seconds ago and now look at him. Congrats, Brady! I love your music! ::::: We recently acquired a Kindle Fire, and yes, I love it. We quickly realized it needed protection from small people and just then I was offered a Snugg case and so I said, SURE SEND IT TO ME. It’s living up to the hype and no wonder these things are popular. Sturdy and not ugly. What else does a girl […]

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Just Write {101}

September 9, 2013

He is explaining the behavior system in his class. Did I tell you how it works? You start on green and you want to go up. If you go down, you could get in the orange and that’s not good. But if you go up, that’s good. It’s your clips. Clicks? You go up and down clicks? No. CliPPPS. Oh okay, gotcha. I’m sitting on the edge of his bad and he starts to rub my arm, absent-mindedly. He’s wearing two shirts, even thought I told him he’ll be hot. Oh well. He’s all wrapped up in a hooded blanket too, it’s so soft. The hood has horns on it and eyes that end up on his forehead. It’s a monster hooded blanket. His favorite. He bites at his fingernail and tells me about his friend who has trouble not moving down into orange which means he could end up one more down […]

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Just Write {100}

September 3, 2013

This is (WOW) the 100th installment of Just Write. Please join me in free-writing your (extra)ordinary stories, your memories, your moments. I would love it if you would…. Here’s to 100. *clink clink* ::::: These were the best fajitas I’ve had in…well, maybe ever. The kids jumped in the trampoline outside, yelling and screaming and bumping into each other on purpose and sweating a lot. Ryan stayed home with an under the weather Elsie who needed bed. Miles rode his scooter, ahead of us and Asher walked with me, behind. He held my hand. He still loves to hold my hand. More and more I want to hold these days and these moments in my hand and keep them for as long as possible because they feel more and more slippery. And then there are other times, in these young years when the whining and waking up over and over and the diapers […]

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Just Write {95}

July 29, 2013

At O’Hare I got confused about where to find a cab. Then I found one with a driver that smiled big and took my bag and we had a very long talk about faith and life. He is openly Muslim and I am openly Christian. We both have our reasons for hiding from our labels. Javid, his name, and he laughed when I told him mine. Heather is apparently (with a little different spelling) a male name where he comes from, almost thirty years ago, Pakistan. He said it means brave and strong and then teased that I don’t look all that physically strong. He explained why it’s good to be near a friend or family member’s grave so every time you drive by, you can pray for them. He said it’s best for the parents to pray because God is more sure to listen. You can’t get away with doing whatever you […]

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from here

July 24, 2013

It’s been over 4 years and I still remember clearly. I walked back from a party by myself, leaving my friends behind and heading for the hotel. I was in Chicago, alone and walking and I didn’t care. The whole night was a blur except for that walk because even though I was drunk, I knew this was stupid, being lost in a city I don’t know. Thank God I found the hotel. I had thought I couldn’t find my friends at the party, but they called to ask where I had gone. They said I was standing right next to them one moment and then I was gone. I thought I had walked around looking for them. I thought they had left. Or maybe I just wasn’t thinking. It was BlogHer ’09, the last conference I went to before I quit drinking. I went up however many floors and into the room […]

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Every year, the BlogHer Serenity Suite is run by volunteer hosts. As busy as conference-goers are, these people take the time to host the Serenity Suite, and their welcoming faces are what make the Serenity Suite the calming force that it is. This year we’re honored to have even more volunteers since we have TWO Serenity Suite locations. Please take a moment to get to know the 2013 BlogHer Serentiy Suite hosts! Thank you, each and every beautiful one of you! Galit Breen – These Little Waves (bottom left corner)Stacy Calvert – Geek ‘Til You Drop (2nd to bottom right)Brook Easton – Redhead Reverie (2nd from right, bottom)Jen Gaskell– Tranquila Mama (3rd from bottom, right)Jane Gassner– Midlife Bloggers (2nd from bottom right)Maggie – Violence UnSilenced (with Ellie and yours truly, middle)Jennie – A Lady in France (bottom right corner)Ann Imig – Ann’s Rants and Listen To Your Mother (top left, in the middle)Jen […]

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Just Write {93}

July 15, 2013

He picked out a hip blue hat for his birthday. He asks every half day or so if it’s Tuesday yet because that’s The Day. He’s Six on that day and so excited. Asher is joy walking around and he still loves to hold my hand so much. All day today, we walked from place to place and he would run to catch up and slip that hand in mind, rubbing his thumb back and forth around my palm. I suppose the reason new parents, all parents really, act like we’re the first ones to have ever been a parent ever, and say all the same things as each other, is because these kids really are that great. They are that exhausting and that difficult to raise and they are the only ones. Like Asher, there’s just no other boy that could ever be him and so I’m the only mother. We’re all […]

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Just Write {92}

July 8, 2013

They come in with a stroller. A small coffee shop and a tiny baby and Dad is behind the stroller and looking so big. Another couple comes in less than five minutes later. They grin at scrunched up newborn faces that sleep ignore them. They grin at each other. He’ll be a week tomorrow.  Yeah, we remember those days, the other mom says back, and her baby is all of about four months old. I smile inside because that’s what it’s like, going to so slow like Eeyore especially the minutes at night and then so fast when you see a teeny tiny piglet in a stroller like yours. They are immediately swapping stories of way back then and this very day. What the doctor said about this and that. What was normal for them. They are doing some kind of dance we all do at first. The new parent dance. Swaddling is […]

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Just Write {91}

July 1, 2013

In the night, rain had finally come. I know for sure because Tia, our dog, is so afraid of thunder and had come to our bed, panting hard like she does when she’s scared. There’s a certain sound to the breaths of fear. In the morning, rain was still dripping from the trees and off the side of the roof, landing in little puddles along the back porch, making that blip blip blip sound. The air was cooler than it has been since we moved here, where people talk about the weather as much as Minnesotans and that’s a lot. I sat at the table and sipped coffee, watched the scaredy cat dog pretend to be super brave while huntin’ for squirrels. Everything is brighter after a rain. Water is magic. Before the storm and bed and the panting next to the bed, I had cried and I couldn’t stop. I don’t remember […]

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Just Write {90}

June 24, 2013

In the next room there was a consistent beep. The high sound of keeping track. There was a child we couldn’t see, connected to the beeping as it kept track of a little heart. From another room, a baby was crying. Our Asher was on the hospital bed in front of us and he looked puffy and flushed. He has a fever and so much pain in his noggin. We didn’t know if his hydrocephalus is bothering him in the heat, or if his shunt is malfunctioning, or both. We were waiting to see. The doctor checked him over and had a few theories. Then we went in for a catscan, down the hall. Asher was asking me lots of questions while I said, You have to be really still. Why, Mommy? For the pictures. Okay. Then he held his little white lamb blanket close to his chest. He never remembers doing this from […]

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    I’m typing this on my phone. I had no time for just write! I’m sorry, but today is the Big Move to Austin and also, I’m exhausted and we have no Internet at my parents. Does this sound like whining?   Oops.   If I get time at the airport I’ll add a linky thingy so fast. For now, feel free to free write!! Don’t stop on my account. I love your words. Link in the comments if youd like. I’ll add them to the linky ASAP! Just so you know, phone blog-writing is slow for me.   More soon….  

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  *raises right hand* I, Heather King, do solemnly swear to, Never say any version of the following to you, ever: “OH you think it’s hard now? Just you wait!” (terribly invalidating and unproductive) “You just need a break!” (HOW? HOW DO YOU GET A BREAK? And then HOW, HOW IS IT EVER GOING TO BE LONG ENOUGH?) “Oh I remember those days!” (No. No I won’t. No matter how clear I think it is, it is not clear.) “Well, you’re going to miss this! Mark my words.” (Sure, fine. But that’s not NOW, so…) “It goes so fast!” (Yes, in some ways, it does. But no, NOT today.) “Those were the best years!” (Yes, they were. And also, NO they were not.) I will not say these things at the grocery store, the big box store, the gas station, a parking lot or the medical clinic. I will not say them at […]

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Just Write {84}

May 6, 2013

When Elsie Jane’s head is on my shoulder and her back has a little curve to it, when her legs are dangling and her hand is patting my back, that’s my favorite. She got sick a few days ago and I held her a lot, her head on my shoulder like that. She’s starting to say a few more words together and lately sometimes she stops to hug me and then she looks me dead in the eyes and says, Mommy. Home. She loves it when I’m home, which is most of the time and still she occasionally just stops what she’s doing to point out that this is how she likes it. Me too. On Saturday, for most of the day, I wasn’t home because we had rehearsal for Listen To Your Mother. Thursday is our show, at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, and how did the time fly like that? Like […]

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Looking back at the beginning I see this person that I’m not. She’s familiar and still has many of the same parts, like tense shoulders and a sleep-deprived furrowed brow. She is meeting the demands of life as a new mother with a fierce determination and resistance all at once. She is almost always the martyr, trying to win The Hardest Award, a competition created in her own mind, mostly played against her husband. He doesn’t know they’re playing, so he’s always losing, which is her point, I suppose. Make up the rules and then keep them between yourself and your ruminating mind. I still do these things, sometimes. I get tired and stressed and fall back into the easiest way, which is the hardest way. Like playing a bass drum in a sound-proof room, alone, expecting the world to sit up and pay attention to the way its too loud for your […]

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on moving a family

April 24, 2013

I’m in the airport at 6:15 a.m. The perfect time to write a post for A Deeper Family, no? Well. I did. I hope I was awake enough to make sense. I do have a really large coffee and a big bottle of water, so there’s that. What a whirlwind, friends. I’m all emotional about moving and I wrote about what a move means for a family and thank God for Phillip Phillips… yeah, you can go on over to A Deeper Family to unravel that mysterious statement….if you’d like. Peace. Instagram: “Strangers across from me. Army guy. Girlfriend. Words With Friends. They are playing each other. Holding hands.”

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