Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It happens to me almost daily, more so in the last couple of years.
The sky is always blue & clear. The air is coolish, like on a Fall Texas late afternoon.
Each day, I envision myself as a long-distance runner. My hair is long, pulled back in a pony tail that's flopping happily against my neck and back with each step jogged. I'm lean, very lean. My stomach is flat, my arms are sharply defined, no signs of back fat. There's no jiggling or short breath or burning lungs.
I'm wearing jogging clothes, but not a baggy t-shirt and spandex shorts that are stretched waaaaay too tightly around the thighs, with the legs of the spandex curling up and cutting off the cirulation at the inner thigh, rising high and higher, where I'm constantly having to reach down and pull the shorts down from between my legs. *cringe* Nah, I'm wearing a matching set of something feminine, definitive and exercise-y, and it's staying in its place.
I'm not running away from anything. No. I'm not running toward something either. At least, I don't think I am. As I type this, I'm not sure about that statment anymore. Hmm.
In my visions, I don't ever finish running. Then again, now that I think about it, I don't ever see myself begin the jog, either. Another hmmm.
Did I tell you? I hate running. I abhor it, mostly because I can't run for any length of time and for some reason, I'm embarrassed about that. As a kid, I wanted to try out for the track team, so I did. The coach wanted me for long-distance running and I wanted to do shot put or some other FIELD part of the "Track & Field". I didn't want to do RUNNING! During that same year, I remember feeling so satisfied in completing a five minute mile in P.E., but I still felt ... I dunno ... less than...the other girls (who were skinny and cute and popular). Why did running and being "first" at a run in P.E. have to be a measure of my popularity in school? How silly! This is one of the strange, social, cultural pressures of being female -- even at an early age of junior high/middle school.
From time to time, I try to get into it. I got pretty serious about it the year I got married. It lasted a couple of months. Not sure why I quit doing it. Probably because I hated it. hahaha
One time, on a gym treadmill, I ran for eight minutes in a row! Cool, huh? I have to cover up the timer screen with my towel so I don't do the give-up based on how far or how long I've jogged. It's a psychology thing. I'm wired that way.
Ironically, I've alwaysALWAYS admired runners. It takes incredible drive to maintain a running schedule. I am amazed at the notion of a "runner's high". It grosses me out when people tell me they ran a marathon and their toe nails have fallen out, but even though it makes me want to hurl, I have much respect for that. MUCH respect! The body of most runners are firm and shapely -- healthy. The serious runner has good complexion, control of their food and beverage intake, tans, and peace. Sure, there are some out there that are radical fanticals and are pretty wheels-off, but for the most part, I know very stable runners.
Tonight, while walking our dog, I had a revelation. It was one that was sort of sneaking from the back to the front of my mind when I told a man with whom I work that I was getting to that age where if I die, people say "she died so young!", but I'm older, so have to be more careful with my body. So, building on that, I realized that I'm afraid to exercise because I don't want to die. I have this irrational fear that the most minimal exertion will cause me to have a heart attack and die. I gotta get over that....GOTTA!
I've tried to figure out what this image is supposed to mean -- the one I have of me being healthy, lean and strong. What does it mean that I don't start or finish? What does it mean?
Perhaps it is an metaphor for my life? I'm constantly running, but not the physical jogging kind. Instead, my mind is busy all the time. And my schedule stays busy. Work is busy. Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda.
Perhaps it's a self-acknowledgement. The image embodies all that I want be. It contains characteristics of which I lack: drive, ambition, a clear-cut path, and probably most importantly, commitment; committment to myself, the regime, the schedule, to food/beverage plan. I suppose I am not a horrible person because I lack these qualites, after all, I have several strengths which are serving me equally well, if not better than any jog would. Commitment is definitely a biggie, though. Yessireebob-o.
Perhaps it's me in a few years, physically running. Could it be that what I'm seeing now is what I will be (without the flat tummy -- no hope there unless I get cosmetic surgery!). I once heard Kate Gosselin say about having all her babies something to the effect that once you get your mind to accept that it's a possiblity, your body and actions can follow and you start to think, 'yeah, I can DO this". I'd like to think that this is true for me. With any luck, maybe someone someday will coach me or mentor me, train me somehow. I am the kind of person who needs an authority over me in order to respond.
I dunno... I'm sure there are other possiblities. Feel free to share if you like. For now, I'm going to go to bed. I'm sure I'll see myself running.
Nite. *yawn*

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Day I Became An Aunt

..for the first time was July 27, 1991. I was pretty self-absorbed. I was deeply in love with who would later become my first husband. My parents were about to move to Hawaii. My brother announced to the family at Christmas that he's having a baby.

He wasn't married. They weren't planning on getting married. But they were having a baby.

At the time, I was amazed. That lasted about two hours, at most. Then it was all about me again.

Had you told me that the following five years I would've learned to love that kid like he was my own, I wouldn't have believed you.

I didn't want kids.

I couldn't imagine That Kind of Love.

But, it came to me -- The Love and The Kid.

As he embarks on his 18th birthday, I feel still even MORE love for him. I can feel this push inside my chest. The love just shoves out. My physical body cannot bound it.

I cannot believe that he's 18.

Happy birthday, Lil A.
I love you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Have Mariposas! The Nature Study Comes to Fruition

they came from broken homes

they "bled" so that they might live

ohhh! the hesitation!

feeling for windspeed before flight

quite a different look on the underside

I'm so proud! My kids were beaming yesterday and today, and it's quite possible I was more excited than the two of the combined multiplied by about 7,529!
I truly thought only one would make it. Lo and behold -- FIVE made it! Cinco mariposas fabulosas! In about two weeks or so, we managed to nurture five gorgeous Painted Lady butteflies and set them free in nature.
This is one of the funnest things I've done with my kids in a long, long time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coca Cola Cake

If you want to indulge in the quite possibly the most obnxiously yummy cake ever, follow this recipe:

Mix & bring just to a boil in a large saucepan:

½ cup butter
3 tbs. cocoa
1 c. coca-cola
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar

Remove from heat and add:

½ c. buttermilk that has been mixed with 1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. mini marshmallows
2 eggs, beaten

Pour batter into oiled & floured 2x9x13 glass baking dish.

Bake 35-40 minutes @ 325 degrees

While cake is still warm, pour icing over the top


1 ½ c. melted butter
6 tbs. coca-cola
3 tbs. cocoa
1 box of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans

Cool cake, serve and enjoy! Just don't hate me later. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Couldn't Agree More!

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. ~ Anais Nin

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Painted Lady Butterflies: A Painting in Progress

It's been just about a week now, and progress has quickly been made in the development of the newest adventure, which, in this case, is a scientific observation of nature magically contained to the four walls of my home.

Day 5 - More Webbing and Some Growth

Day 6 - Plump and Hanging

Day 7 - Cocoons!

Notice the one cocoon that is in the middle of the jar, not hanging from the lid. My Eldest is sure it's dead. She's convinced it fell. I contend it's alive because it's floating in the silken web. When removing it from the jar, I was able to keep that webbing intact and transfer it to the treehouse, which might or might not be a mortal sin since the instructions clearly say to remove as much as the fress and webbing as possible.
The treehouse is nestled in a cool, dim, still area of our living room so we can all enjoy watching the Painted Ladies develop. If, God willing, they blossom as butterflies, The Girls set them free in the backyard and let them each go lay her 500 eggs and fly around the world ushered by her 10,000 eyes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's the...


....that keeps....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Painted Lady Butterflies - An Exploration of Science

I love the word metamorphosis. I love even better the meaning of the word. It has many layers both literal and figurative.

My kids love butterflies. Since we speak Spanglish in my house, it's not uncommon for us to say "mariposa". Something about "mariposa" that rolls more melodically off the tongue than "butterflies", which is filled with such hard consonants.

A gift that My Eldest received for her post-surgery recovery was a Butterfly Habitat. I've always been jealous of her because each year of school so far, her teachers have had this in the classroom. Each year, My Eldest raves about how cool it is to watch, and she would give me daily updates.

Now, it's our turn to have one in OUR house! I might be more excited about it that My Eldest is! Shhhh.

So, with that being said, I thought you might like to follow along with us as the caterpillars pig out, wrap up, and eventually blossom.

Day 1, July 10th

This morning, Day 4

The silk is webbing the inside of the container. It's hard to tell by this picture, but they're eating and pooping a lot (the sand-like specks are poo)! They are also longer, fatter and fuzzier!

I'll post pictures over the next two to three weeks as the Painted Lady butterflies develop.

(I'm going to photograph the next few at the window where Day 1's is taken. Day 4's has a screen on the window and doesn't allow for as much highlighting inside their home. )

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Funny Strange, Not Funny Ha-Ha

I've been thinking lately -- now -- how much time I devote to the computer. I've tried to limit it as of late because of the newfound awareness.

I've started downsizing my online life to some degree. I killed my MySpace account, unregistered myself from several websites such as and the like. I've felt free, both time-wise, and of "chains". Admittedly, the habits of going to certain websites are harder to break than I anticipated.

Another step I took was to delete and uninstall many software programs from my laptop. Computers come pre-loaded with so much CRAP that I never use. This weekend, I tore into my laptop and started hammering away. No more Windows Media Player since I use iTunes, got rid of some kid software games that will go on the new computer my children are about to inherit from my mother (thanks Mom!). You know -- THAT kind of stuff.

In doing my cleanup, I must've deleted something I really DO need because my laptop doesn't like me right now. I spent the better part of the weekend, at times when my family didn't need or want me, trying to fix the darn thing. Wish me luck.

Thank goodness work is pretty liberal and I have the ability to tap in online from the office. I'm grateful for that employee perk.