without love we are nothing

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote many beautiful things about what love is and is not. One of his more important points is that love is meant to exist without conditions.

Unconditional love.
We don’t always find that in our world.
The worst thing humans do to each other is love with conditions.

My second daughter experiences a great deal of the way selfish love works. Love is a weapon. Love is power to hold over another. Love is a tool with which to manipulate so get what you want.

I plan to make a powerful statement on love, but first I have to provide a bit of background info…
Thing 2 and her friends lost out on the house they were trying to rent. That hit her hard.
She’s not been seeing her counselor regularly (because, covid) and she didn’t realize how much she missed it until she got a call last week saying he’s starting to see clients in the office again.
She and Boyfriend M are strong and healthy.
But personally she isn’t in the best place.
She started a new job last week, one she’s enthusiastic about.
She’s making an appointment to see her therapist this week.
She and Boyfriend M had a good talk about mental health and being in a good supportive relationship.

Monday morning she wrote in our group chat

She’s excited about feeling like she’s killing it and doesn’t even need help.
Then immediately not wanting to jinx it.

Thing 1 and I shared our joy at her enthusiasm, and spoke to many things.
But I became stuck trying to make sense of this contradiction.

(here’s where the connection to love starts to make some sense)

Acknowledging you’re ‘killing it’ does not jinx it.
And, ‘killing it’ does not mean you can’t use or don’t need assistance, support, and love.
‘Killing it’ means you’re doing your best.

I believe we must celebrate what’s good. What feels positive.
But more than that, I believe being good, or successful, or feeling healthy doesn’t mean you don’t need (or want) backup.
It’s not one or the other. It’s a delicate balance of relying on yourself and the love of your tribe.
Love and support foster your personal strengths.

‘Killing it’ and needing help are not mutually exclusive.
You can ‘kill it’ and still receive support from the people who love you.
And best of all, when you’re ‘killing it’ as well as receiving love and support the world is a truly wonderful place.

Thing 2 shared how fortunate she feels to have friends, family, and “a mans” who love and support her endlessly.
Her counselor said, “God works in mysterious ways.” and later that same day Boyfriend M told her “the universe works in mysterious ways”.
She was angry and sad and didn’t want to hear it. But she knew they were right.
She knew this because in one twelve hour span, she had love and unconditional support from ‘the boys’ (her core friend group), then her counselor, then her Momma, and then Boyfriend M.
She said, “Everyone cares about me, for me, not their own selfish gain. And that it truly magical, I’m glad I appreciate that now. At the time, I was cheesed off because it felt like I was fine and everyone was treating me like a broken toy all at once –turns out I was not doing fine and needed that huge multi-directional wave of love and support.”

To which her sister replied, “We will always love and support you, that’s what we’re here for. Even if sometimes it feels like we’re being mean or treating you like a broken toy, we just want you to be the youest you you can be.”

I hope with all my might that this experience begins to shift Thing 2’s understanding.
I want her to know you cannot jinx your success by celebrating the joy of it.
You can be ‘killing it’ and still require support.
You can be as successful as humanly possible and still rely on the love of others.

(here’s where the connection to Paul starts to make some sense)

Paul knew what was up.
In his letter to the Corinthians he wrote a great deal of what love is and is not.
He wrote he was nothing without love.
He wrote we should remain hopeful and faithful and do everything in love.

I’m not as eloquent as Paul, but these are some of the most important things I know about life and love:
Love is safe.
Love comes at you to lift you up.
Love is a celebration of who you are.
Love is the greatest gift.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 113

Because Thing 1 is celebrating her twenty seventh birthday today, I thought it would be fun to have her to choose what song I share with y’all.
She debated between two MISSIO songs but ultimately landed on Wolves.
But I make the rules here, so I decided to share Can You Feel the Sun too.
Let me know what y’all think.

Happy Birthday, Bear!
I love you more than the whole wide world!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sunday morning at the home site 2.28.21

And then there was electrical and plumbing!
Soon the low voltage stuff will go in and we’ll have our pre-drywall walk through.

Baby K picked up bits of PVC and “swept” up the wood shavings from where the pipes went through the framing. She left the house with a small piece of pipe in her pocket and a longer piece with and elbow on each end in her hand. (Birdie went through the box of fittings to make sure she had something fun.)

Brittany at the sales office called YBW last week with an update, and gave him a June/July move in timeframe. Of course this is approximate, but it’s much sooner than the initial September/October we got when we first stated our interest. And the July/August they told us when we gave our deposit.

Even though we don’t yet have a real date…

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

meant to be

How precious is this house?

This adorable house is the reason we couldn’t go to our home site Sunday morning.
This adorable house will soon be home to Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K!

YBW, Baby K, and I met Thing 1 and Husband N there Sunday morning while the inspector was there.
In the car, Baby K sang to us the whole time. She also kept saying, “Mama” (pronounced Meh-MEH) at random intervals. We told her Mommy and Daddy were at the new house and we were on our way to see them.

That girl was so excited to be in the new house!
She didn’t even really understand that it’s going to be hers.
Of course she was excited to see her parents, but mostly she was excited to explore.
We successfully stayed out of the inspector’s way while still investigating every nook and cranny. And believe me y’all, that attic space has its share of nooks and crannies!

When we said goodbye and left the house, we drove through the neighborhood a bit. It’s just as precious as the house they’re buying.
There’s an elementary school around the corner with the best damn sledding hill you’ve ever seen!

Thing 1 loved this house the moment she saw it. She spoke of it’s character. She spoke of it’s feeling of comfort. She spoke of it’s potential.
She knew this was meant to be her home.
She knew it welcomed her with open arms.

My momma (and Birdie) heart was anxious until I saw it. Until I walked through it.
It has such charm and character.
It has a warm and gentle welcoming feel about it.
It was truly meant to be the home of my daughter and her family.

I hugged my girl and told her, “You can live here.”
She hugged me tighter.
She and I both know she can damn well live wherever she likes. She and I both know she’s an adult and makes her own decisions. She and I both know I do my best to respect her life choices.
But she and I both know that it matters a great deal that we had that moment. That we both know we’re comfortable in that house that will become her home. That as joyful as she is, she has my full support to contribute to that joy.
I’m not sure I’m explaining it right, but we understand what it means and that’s all we really need.

They’re scheduled to go to closing the end of March.
I’m so excited for them!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

would you rather – partie onze

be forced to dance every time you heard music or be forced to sing along to any song you heard
I feel like I do both of these already…I guess the difference is it happening organically, or by force…?
I think I’ll choose dance because I don’t always know the words to every song I hear.

not shower for a week or not brush your teeth for a week
Not shower.
My teeth gotta be clean, yo.

lose the ability to hear or lose the ability to walk
Hear…?
Of course I can hear the train whistle as I’m writing this.
Actually, I’m going to choose lose the ability to walk. I can still get around other ways.

eat your favorite meal for every meal for the rest of your life or never be able to eat your favorite meal again
Never eat my favorite meal again.
I could cherry-pick bits and pieces from my favorite meal and put them into others.

have to read aloud every word you read or sing everything you say out loud
I feel like I should choose read aloud the words I read, but I’m going to choose sing everything I say.
Why?
I don’t actually know, but I’m trusting my gut on this one.

What would y’all rather?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 112

How about this Amyl and the Sniffers tune?

A bit Blondie.
A bit Plasmatics.
A bit Dream Wife.
A whole lotta punk rock.

Check out Got You and let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Saturday afternoon at the home site 2.20.21

It was cold and windy as all get out when we went over to the house this weekend. It was the first weekend in a month it wasn’t actively precipitating though, so that was cool.

You’ll notice it says Saturday afternoon in the title up there, that’s because we couldn’t go Sunday morning.
What had happened was…
I had my first covid vaccine Saturday morning. (There was a clinic for PWCS employees at one of the high schools the past two weekends.)
But first, I had to run to Target.
And after, YBW and I had carry out lunch with his brother and sister-in-law.
Then we finally went to the house.


The HVAC is going in!
How exciting!

This is the view from the back of the house.
I was standing at the windows in our bedroom.
YBW noticed we could see the tower at Dulles. (Dulles International Airport is about ten miles to the north)
If you’re curious, it’s just that dark gray thing that kind of looks like a bowler hat just to the right of that big tree. If you’re not curious, it’s still that dark gray thing that kind of looks like a bowler hat just to the right of that big tree.

We met some neighbors who were out walking. They were keen to see the view from our house, so we invited them in and let them look out the windows. In turn, they invited us to see their home. It’s the same model as ours, but an interior unit, and I was eager to see the finished pantry, linen, and main bedroom closets.
This single guy with roommates doesn’t utilize his space very well, and I bit my tongue to stop myself offering organizational advice. Though he does have a tricked out smart house thing going on and YBW dug that!

I know what we’re going to do in the pantry and linen closets, and we’re working to design our closet.
I did some measuring in the laundry room for a counter or table top over the machines, open shelving above that, and a tall cabinet in the corner of the room. Now to see what I come up with…

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 111

Mark Foster of Foster the People has a show called Escapology on Sirius XM. I think it airs on Tuesday evenings, but I first heard it on a Sunday morning on the way to the home site.
I like Foster the People. I like the way Mark Foster approaches music. Music he makes, music he listens to.

I heard this John Grant song on the Escapology show and just loved it.
I’m curious to hear what y’all think about Down Here.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

art is not created in a vacuum

I’ve always been open about my love for all things Joss Whedon, though I’ve never been clear that I love the art more than the creator.
Over the years we’ve learned that Joss is notoriously difficult to work with. He is obstinate and demanding. Obsessive and overbearing.
Kai Cole, who was married to Joss for nearly twenty years wrote that he is a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals

Last week Charisma Carpenter took to her social media to discuss her experience as a member of the Buffyverse.
(this is the post from her Instagram account)

She stated she felt compelled to share her story after Ray Fisher discussed his experience with Joss on the set of Justice League.
Since Charisma’s post, actors, writers, and producers from Whedon lead vehicles are speaking out in support.
I’m seeing words like:
Unprofessional.
Hostile.
Cruel.
Abusive.
Toxic.

Jose Molina who worked as a writer on Firefly said Joss bragged about making female writers cry. That he thought being mean was funny.
Michelle Trachtenberg stated Joss wasn’t allowed to be alone with her on the set of Buffy. She didn’t go into any further details, but know that she was fifteen years old when she started on that show in 2000.

So it seems to me it isn’t just that Joss Whedon is difficult to work with, he’s a shit human.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love his art any less.
Buffy and Angel. Dollhouse and Firefly. The Avengers (not created by, but brought to life in the MCU as director)
These are truly some of my favorite characters. Some of my favorite stories.

Once again I find myself wondering if a shit human and their art can be separated?

I say once again because I asked this question in 2017 when Kevin Spacey became persona non grata when all his horrible deeds came to light. Not only was he accused of sexual misconduct, but also creating toxic work environments.
His behavior is abhorrent.
He’s also a pretty shit human.
But his talent though. The art he created is beautiful.

I’m not the only one thinking about this. I read quite a bit about separating art from the artist when I set out to write this post.
I read articles the New York Times to the Guardian. From the BBC to reddit.
Here are a couple I especially liked.
For WBUR Boston’s the ARTery, Maria Garcia wrote: “Art does not exist in its own altruistic, alternate universe. It’s part of the world — and the patriarchy.”
Constance Grady wrote this tagline for her Vox article: “I don’t know what to do with good art by predatory artists. So I asked some literary critics.”

Nora texted me “Joss Whedon is gross” early Friday morning.
I shared with her I was trying to write this post. I mentioned Spacey. I asked: Can you separate individuals from their art/talent?
She sent this reply

She’s right, y’all. How much of what we’ve read or seen or heard was created by shit humans?
Does knowing something was created by a shit human change our opinion?
Should it?
Should it not?

We are all human. We are all flawed.
But I truly believe we’d be worse off without art.

I can’t ignore the fact Buffy and Firefly were created by a shit human.
But it doesn’t make me love them any less.
I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Artists do not exist in a vacuum.
Art is not created in a vacuum.

Can the art and artist exist separately?
Can the art be appreciated for the art it is?
Can the art remain unsullied by the reputation of it’s creator?

Please share your thoughts.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Saturday morning at the home site 2.13.21

You’ll notice it says Saturday and not Sunday up there.
That’s because we were in the middle of a mad ice storm and based on the forecast, thought we’d be safer going to the house Saturday morning.
Mother Nature had different plans.
The ice was bad out there!
Temps steadily dropped from when we left our (current) house just after eight and by the time we got home just after ten, there was a solid quarter inch of ice on the roads.

There were no workers in the house this week so we were able to get into every nook and cranny!
We’ve been in finished models. We’ve been in partially constructed models.
But this was the first time we were able to go all over our own house! (mini SQUEE moment for sure)

I’m standing in the front right corner of our house, in the dining room right next to the half bath shooting towards the living room. The kitchen will be on the left wall there in the middle. The gaping hole in the back is where that big ass stacking door will go.

The door to the roof deck is nailed shut so I couldn’t open it to get a better pic. But this is where I plan to spend as much time as humanly possible. Porch life will have a entirely new setting!


Yes, all that water on the doors is ice.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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