Friday, December 28, 2007

Music Minute #6 - Into My Arms

I was turned on to this song by pure random happenstance. Since hearing it for the first time about a week or so ago, I've listened to other music by the artist, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He has some great stuff but most if it isn't really my style. This song is certainly not new, but it's new to me. It's intensity and intonation permeates every cell of my body and reaches like a romance partner's swaying dance toward the depths of my soul where only secrets are playing...

I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms
And I don't believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that's true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms
And I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candle burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

Monday, December 24, 2007

Unopened Gifts and Other Christmas Ramblings


I am just fresh from Midnight Mass and a lot of thought was provoked. Just at random, here are a few flashes of hmmm moments I experienced....


1. The cruicifix I look at each week is Jesus, of course, who is a grown man -- an adult. Today, Christmas, my Christian bretheren recall that that grown man was at one time was but a mere babe. Jesus was a baby! He was dependent and vulnerable. He had needs in order to survive.


2. With #1 being said, I spend a lot of my year (both calendar and liturgical) thinking about sacrifice and suffering, fear and anxiety, peace and serenity through the death that God offered me so that I may have life. I rarely, and I mean rarely, reflect on the very fact that he was even born. How interesting...why don't I do that? I think I'll try harder this year to do that.


3. I love my church! The church was dimly lit, mostly by candle light. Red pointsettias glared their hellos from the altar. The choir is phenomenal. During communion, they sang my favorite Christmas song: O Holy Night. As I savored Christ in my mouth and through my body, I was still and my soul was quiet; listening to the song and it's lullaby and drama wrapped in one beautiful melody: fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine....oh night divine.


4. This Christmas has been hollow for me. I'm floating through the season with minimal effort. I'm kind of going through the motions. I'm not looking for a "oh, poor baby". What I need is a better year in 2008. I need better health, financial stability, harmony in the families. I was thinking how my brain is always one part here, and one part there anymore. And how sad that makes me. I'm sad about that because I'm not fully in one moment and what if I miss something? What if I miss something that I should be seeing and I never will get that moment back again? I worry about that a lot.


5. And tonight, during Mass, Monsignor hit the home run. The two things we have interfere most in our lives are fear and anxiety. And what is the one thing God tells us most? DO NOT BE AFRAID. Do Not Worry. Don't Have ANXIETY.


Yes, Lord.


I hear You.


6. The other message that just smacked me in the face.... Monsignor had just spoken of Christ's Presence. It was eloquent. He talked about how Jesus had a gift of His Presence and anyone who was in It was healed if they so desired (which most did!). Then Monsignor reminded us of the the alternate Presents -- this is the season of giving gifts to one another. How hard would it be...how frustrating would it be....how disappointing would it be to have worked on creating a gift and giving it to someone, and that someone didn't open the gift? And here we have God giving us gifts all the time, yet we don't open them. How frustrating that must be for someone who loves me unconditionally (God) to have me basically ingore or reject His Gifts. What a beautiful analogy Monsignor gave, huh?


Merry Christmas my friends and family....may you always see and open the Gifts of God. I know I have a few to open....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 23rd Goings-On

A rather nonsensical (nonsensicle?) post, really....

Tonight, I spent 4 hours wrapping gifts. Wrapping the gifts is actually my favorite part of all the to-do's at Christmas. I enjoy matching the bows to the paper, the tissue to the bag...you get the idea. You usually won't find me using those cheap bows that you just peel the thingie off the back and stick it on the paper. Nope. I'd rather get the wire kind of ribbon and make bows, tie them around the box delicately and fluff it up. I like using different accessories instead of bows, too.

Another thing I did today is prepared three whole meals for my family. That just doesn't happen!

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, biscuits and bacon with orange juice

Lunch: pre-made pizzas that I bought from my cousin's granddaughter who had a fundraiser

Dinner: Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (on Jewish rye!) and banana chips

Not glamorous, I know. But a good effort!

While I was wrapping gifts, I enjoyed a glass or two of Llano's Sweet Red. It's pretty much the only red wine I like. I prefer it chilled, but can drink it at room temperature, too. I ate cheezits too..... Here is a picture for ya:

So, as I raise my glass tonight, I'm toasting Y O U.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pop Update and More

Yesterday, good news arrived: Pop no longer needs his back brace!
The only restrictions are no heavy lifting and no twisting. Should be very easy to do considering he can't even bring himself into a sitting or standing position without assistance yet. Once he's sitting, he's able to do so for about an hour to an hour and a half. He can stand for about fifteen minutes. His blood pressure ends up going goofy and he gets faint, so he's got to work in baby steps.
Today, Pop is being transferred from one rehab hospital to another. This new one has goals of getting him out of there in four to six weeks (yay!). Getting him out of there = HOME (which is going to be my house).
Pop has been eating some soft foods, but is still on a feeding tube. Some foods he's been able to eat are bananas, pudding and applesauce. He's got a good grasp of time now, and speaks with a slight slur. Still no prognosis has been rendered, so we are very much day-by-day.
On to my Mother In Law....
She's still at our house enjoying the grandkids. She says they are her medicine. Cute. My mom has been a blessing because she's taking care of both my kids and my mother in law. Anyway, Pop's wife still has a broken bone that is just going to take a long time to heal. Also, the area on her leg where she was pinned in the accident turned necrotic. Behind the necrosis was a bunch of poison that has since been drained and now there is a gaping wound about the size of a Dorito and as deep as a slice of sandwich bread that gets tended to daily. A wound care nurse comes to our house and changes the bandages. My mother in law has to wear a vac that suctions the nasty stuff off the wound and it makes a little sound that we all giggle at because it sounds like a "pootie" (as we call them in our family). My Eldest calls the vac "The Pootie Machine".
Overall, it bodes to be a Christmas to remember. One filled with thanksgiving and an honest reflection of what Christmas truly means. However, it's a pretty sad state of affairs in my house since I am not much in the Christmas spirit. I haven't mailed out cards yet, didn't take a picture of the kids for the cards. There aren't but maybe five decorations hanging around my house. The tree has no lights and it's the little four foot tree we had from our apartment days (which is actually very sentimentally special and cute because My Eldest and My Little One decorated it with EVERY ornament we own!! And, most of them are one 'side' of the tree, so it leans to one side. It's cute in spite of it being less than what we usually have. The kids had a good time decorating it and that's what it's all about.)
Jesus Christ is born!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Forward, Onward, Progress

I'm all about moving forward. I'm all about constant learning. I'm all about self-knowledge and self-discovery. I'm all about fighting the good fight unless there is no choice but to lay down and surrender. Sometimes surrender is not defeat. Sometimes it is success. Sometimes it is progress.
I surrender.
Today, I am tired.
Today, I am weak.
Today, I surrender.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Music Minute #5 - Do What You Have to Do

Oft of late, the desires, the restlessness, the longings of my soul have eloquently been portrayed as fire and rain. Think about what each physically and metaphorically represent. Change is indeed one of those characteristics that result from rain or fire. Being shaped is, too. Cleansing another.
Look at this quote from John Ruskin and marinate in all that it could possibly be suggesting:
Sunshine is delicious,
rain is refreshing,
wind braces us up,
snow is exhilarating;
there is really no such thing as bad weather,
only different kinds of good weather.
I find myself magnetized to songs that seem to be melodically cauterizing the (my) Human Spirit Metamorphosis by describing it as "burning embers", or being "washed in rain", and so on. The images I feel -- yes, feel -- enraptures me. The words have to be married with a certain mood of a song. You won't find me listening to say, Motley Crue or Linkin Park. No. It'll be soulful, slow, haunting, lingering intonations. Sarah McLachlan's, "Do What You Have to Do" is one example.....for today, anyway.
I love the opening lyrics of the song. It's so poetic and speaks volumes! This song, despite it's slow, quiet ease, is absolutely screaming to me. Although the words suggest a message that you might interpret as, "Jackie is missing someone", 'tis not the truth. But the glow....the burning...at the end of the song which is transforming a soul....that is what's happening to me these days.

What ravages of spirit
conjured this temptuous rage
created you a monster
broken by the rules of love
and fate has lead you through it
you do what you have to do
and fate has led you through it
you do what you have to do ...

and I have the sense to recognize that
I don't know how to let you go
every moment marked
with apparitions of your soul
I'm ever swiftly moving
trying to escape this desire
the yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
the yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
but I have the sense to recognize
that I don't know how
to let you go
I don't know how
to let you go

a glowing ember
burning hot
burning slow
deep within I'm shaken by the violence
of existing for only you
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
and I have sense to recognize but

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Annual Santa Picture


I took the kids to a local Santa's Village kind of thing we have here in my neck o' the woods. It's quaint and surprisingly popular. It has all kinds of miniature houses, music floats in the air. You can ride a reindeer (not a real one). Lights galore sparkle and illuminate the area of town where it's built. It's pretty and it's magical and for a few moments in time, you forget you're a part of Reality.


We stood in line just shy of an hour on Thursday night to get a free polaroid picture of my kids with Santa. An elf-clown entertained us all as we stepped ever closer to Santa's House. My Eldest was particularly intrigued by all the tricks he could do, and giggled madly at his sheer silliness. Juggling, funny faces and goofy ways to fall down, he hammed it up big-time. He sat on a chair that would collapse and make the kiddos laugh as if it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen. He made balloon animals and flowers, even a bow and arrow set.


The real reason I wanted to post this blog was to post the picture!


Firstly, look at the quality and color of it. It has this 1970's feel to it, doesn't it? It's got that brownish tinge that suggests "I am an old picture". I like to think of it as matching the feel of the Village itself. It's kind of Old World or just kind of tacky. I like to think of it as the former.


Next, I love how My Little One looks. Who doesn't have one of these pictures of a kid crying on Santa's lap? Not only is she crying...she looks like she's running from terror! The reaction to sitting on his lap conversely bespeaks that excitement which she giddily displayed prior to entering Santa's House. This is, after all, the first Christmas she is aware of Christmas and all the Wonder That It Is!


My Little One wore reindeer slippers with her Santa dress. And she had a hat that matched her dress but took it off just as we approached the threshold to Santa's crib. I planned well enough ahead to at least adorn her hair with a Christmas-themed accessory. Rare for me, but still a brilliant moment that I'll gladly claim.


The other thing I appreciate about this photo is My Eldest. Her sweet expression actually matches her age! She doesn't look ten! She looks SEVEN. There is a God! And look how she knows how to work the camera? She is such a ham!


Finally... This. Is. S A N T A! Look how jolly and seasoned at this he is. He's smiling so perfectly and calmly. He cracked me up because as soon as My Little One began her protest, he said in true grandfatherly fashion, 'ohhh. You'll be fine.' *smile* *click* and DONE! On to the next batch of kids.


On a side note, related/not related. Related to the theme of Christmas but not the particular subject of the Santa picture...

My Husband and I attended his company Holiday party. Let me sum it like this: There's nothing more entertaining than to watch a Viet Namese band sing Feliz Navidad.

:)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Music Minute #3 - Hold Back The Rain

I needed something little more upbeat, but something that still used some of the natural elements of nature to describe some inner ruminations.


Duran Duran's Hold Back The Rain

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cowboys Cut The Cheese

If you don't already know, I am undeniably, fevershily, crazily an avid fan of NFL football. My favorite team (no secret, I'm sure) is the Dallas Cowboys. I have also since the early 90's rooted for the Green Bay Packers. It is a life goal to witness a Packers game in January at Lambeau Field (hint, hint for any of you willing to spring for my birthday gift ~ hehe). When I was a young girl, one way I could connect with my father was memorizing all the quarterbacks to each of the teams. I did it every year for a good long stretch of my childhood. Playing fantasy football these days has broadened my understanding of the game. I'm no expert, but I do appreciate good football. I'm also still a Cowboys fan even though many people abandon ship when Jerry fired Tom.

Ever have one of those moments in life where you close your eyes and think, "This is a perfect moment. This is sheer perfection."? You know. The planets and the moon and stars are all aligned so that you may have this gift. And you revel in it. You dance in it. You're high-energy but suddenly time moves sooooo slowly, almost stops. You have heightened sensory awareness. Sounds, smells, feels, moods, are all burned onto your soul. And you look to the heavens, take in a deep breath and thank God for the abundance. THAT is the kind of night November 29th, 2007 was for me.

Back in February or so, My Husband's friend (who knows I love football) has season tickets to the Cowboys (I'm jealous), and he asked me to pick a game - any game - and he'd treat me to it. WOW! Later, when the schedule was released, he sent it to me and again invited me to pick a game. I review the list of games. Lots of good ones. Great rivalries like the Eagles and the Redskins (although the 'skins not so much anymore). The Jets were coming to town. Then....the shiny rock. New England!

Me: OMG -- New England is coming to town! I can GO SEE New England. I could see Tom Brady! LIVE! Yesssssss!
Myself: Keep looking. Don't let that dapper hunk o man distract you from other potential
games.
I: Both of you shut up!

I keep perusing. Green Bay!

Me: OMG -- Green Bay is coming to town, too!! I can GO SEE Brett Favre. I can see the team which embodies NFL football! I can see a living legend in MY HOUSE!
Myself: OMG -- Favre. Brett. Brett Favre. No need to look anymore
I: Good idea. Let's go see Green Bay!

I tell My Husband's Friend that I'd like to see Green Bay. He thinks my rationale is silly, but I care not. You asked me to pick a game. THAT'S the game I want, baby.

So.....fast foward to now. Four whole days have passed since I got to see Brett Favre and the Packers. I was starry-eyed and giddy. I couldn't concentrate at work. I bragged all day about it to everyone -- anyone who would listen, really. I posted it all over my myspace page and all. So obnoxious. Why? Because it became the Game of the Year! Ten and one versus ten and one in the NFC. It was the fight for home field advantage. It was two long-standing teams with rich football traditions, battling out the lead.

I listen to sports talk radio most of the day. This game was HUGE. The Dallas media was distributing all kinds of minutae about players, where they came from. Predictions galore being made, experts rendering opinion and all kinds of speculation. Most sports figures around here agreed that Dallas was a better team (and they are, and proved it!).

One thing that was discussed just once out of all the spewing sports stuff was the halftime show. THE halftime show was a sight to behold, especially if you are a fan of the Cowboys. If you have an appreciation of the 70's teams and the 90's dynasty, THIS halftime show was designed for YOU (me). The 1977 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl team was being honored, as well as the 15th anneversary of the 1992 Super Bowl Cowboys team. So legends such as Bill Bates, Tony Hill, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Preston Pearson, Hollywood Henderson, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Drew Pearson were there. Also were The Triplets: Troy Aikman (dreamy sigh), Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, along with Jay Novacek, Nate Newton, Daryl "Moose" Johnston, Coach Joe Avezzano, among other greats. They all huddled in the middle of the field on the star with their hands in the air. It was so cool. I was surrounded by so much legendary greatness!! Life could not have gotten any better.

So, here are a couple of pictures from my night at the game. Cowboys won 37-27. Brett Favre, sadly, got injured and missed most of the game. Watching his face on the jumbo screen was sad because it was painfully obvious how much he was cringing by not being in The Game of The Year.


GO 'BOYS!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Movie Review: Enchanted

I *highly* recommend this movie!!

It's a very cute family movie.


My Eldest and I ventured into the sunny Sunday afternoon, laughter leading us, hand in hand we waltz into the movie theater. We had been trying to see this movie for a week or so now and something kept coming up. Something more important. Something that led to disappointment after disappointment in My Eldest's face each time I said "we'll go. I promise, okay?"


We finally went. And boy was it F U N!


You can read the summaries of this movie online or in your local paper, so I'll spare you that process. But, I do give it thumbs up. Need a little daddy/daughter time? A little mommy/daughter bonding? A sweet movie to see as a family? This is the one!


Side note: my favorite part is when....well, I guess I shouldn't tell you just yet. Contact me after you see the movie and we can exchange giddiness about it.


Oh! And did I tell you the BEST part? McDreamy is in it. I think I feel my hormones swooning.....


Long live Giselle!