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happy Hanukkah

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I’m only a smitch Jewish, but it’s an important part of my heritage so I like to celebrate when I can.
I especially love when Hanukkah and Christmas coincide.

The prayer for the first night is my very favorite.
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehechiyanu ve-kimanu vehigianu lazhaman hazeh.
Thanks be to you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for keeping us alive and in good health and for bringing us together.
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Happy Hanukkah, y’all.

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Houses of the Holy

Even though Charleston is known as the Holy City, there are more than a few beautiful houses of worship in Savannah.

Congregation Mickve Israel on Gordon Street is the only Gothic synagogue in the US. (Of course I never actually took a photo of it even though we passed it about five hundred times but you need to see it. Y’all thank Google for the image.) This is at the top of my list for the next time I’m in Savannah. Must pay homage to my ancestors. (And seriously? A Gothic synagogue!?! How freaking cool is that!)

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We toured the First African Baptist Church on Montgomery Street.
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The church was built by local slaves.
It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. The lower level floor had about four and a half feet underneath it. And there are holes drilled in the floor in specific symbols that were used as air flow for those hidden below. But because they were religious symbols, no one was the wiser.
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You can see that some of the floor boards have been replaced because the diamond and cross are incomplete.

Every one of the pews in the church is curved. They are absolutely beautiful! They’re curved so each congregant is equally close to the pulpit. (Or something more eloquent than that…) I told YBW I wanted one of their pews to have at home. He sometimes just looks and me with a look of gentle amusement with a dash of ‘are you for real?’
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The stained glass was as beautiful. This teeny piece was my absolute favorite.
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I do love me some daisies.
What moved me about this church is that it currently has a very active congregation. When we were there it was there food bank day. The lower level was filled with groceries, bags of food, and probably fifty people working. I kind of wanted to stay and help them…I loved seeing how hard they were working their ministry. There was laughter and singing and just general good fun in their hard work.

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The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is open every day. You can wander in any time except during their daily service between 11:30 and 12:30.
It had gorgeous Gothic architecture. The ceiling was the most beautiful color blue. The alters were stunning. The pews were straight (how boring)

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We were in the the cathedral with a couple of school groups. I could hear the guides giving information and asking questions. It was all done in stage whispers. It was so deliciously quiet in that enormous room of worship.
I lit a candle and said a prayer while I was there.

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Candle at the far right is my prayer.

Of course there are many more churches in Savannah. And they have many stories to tell…I’m going to go back and learn more!

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I don’t love anyone (but your’e not just anyone)

Pete Doherty’s new album Hamburg Demonstrations gets released December 2 of this year! Happy Christmas to this little Robynbird!
Here’s the first single, I Don’t Love Anyone (but You’re Not Just Anyone)
Please listen responsibly.

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pipe the f**k down, Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~ Marcus Aurelius
Well, this morning I woke rather¬†grouchy, so why don’t you just pipe the f**k down, Marcus Aurelius.

I had bad dreams again last night. My body exhausted when I woke. These dreams fill me with pain and anxiety. My body produces adrenaline and cortisol but has no outlet for it because I’m sleeping. So I’m flooded with these stress hormones that my body has to somehow reabsorb. No wonder I’m grouchy AF.

Normally, I can remember and recount the particulars of my dreams. These icky ones aren’t like that. All I can call up is imagery and the way it felt.
There was water in my dreams. It was dark and rippling. This water made me fearful. I was frightened that it would drown me.
My one true pathological fear is to smother. Drowning is essentially the same thing. So what is happening to me that I’m experiencing this level of fear and anxiety?

The logical part of my brain considers this:
Every thought we have causes a ripple. Every choice we make causes a ripple. Every action causes a ripple. Ripples move away from the starting point out in all directions and pretty much looks like this.
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So when you’re having many thoughts, or making many choices at once it rather looks like this.
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The feeling part of my brain sees only that the water is dark and moving rapidly. I become frightened. I become overwhelmed. I begin to panic. Stress hormones get released. I go to my brain stem and enter fight or flight mode. I don’t understand what’s happening to me but I feel that water is going to overtake and drown me. I’m not frightened enough to wake. I’m trapped in this cycle of fear and anxiety.
Here’s the part that I cannot wrap my brain around. I never enter the water. I’m never swimming or fighting to stay afloat. I’m just paralyzed by fear at seeing the water. I absolutely know that it will drown me even though I’m not actually in the water.

What is happening to me that this is my sleep?
What am I struggling with so hard?
What needs to be done to quiet my brain?

Apart from today and of course, Monday, I’ve been feeling overall well emotionally.
Obviously something is stuck and whatever it is needs help getting sorted. This cannot be my sleeping life. My fear of smothering is something that rides with me every single day, I can’t have it decide to try and drive once I’m sleeping.
Sleep is supposed to give your body a chance to rest. To restore. To recharge. Right now sleep is making me its bitch and wearing me out.

Something’s got to give.
My instinct to run is present. And getting harder and harder to ignore.

So, when being alive and able to think and enjoy and love is precious privilege, you’re waking from deliciously restful and restorative sleep, not from stressed and scary dreams.
While I appreciate the sentiment,Marcus Aurelius, I’m not feeling especially privileged today. Maybe I’ll get lucky tomorrow.

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gettin’ in the mood (for Christmas)

Now that Thanksgiving is in my rear view mirror, I can head towards my most favorite holiday of all! (I may have squealed a little when I typed that.)

I potted a tiny spruce tree in the giant pot on my front porch yesterday, going to light and top it today.
All three trees are up. Two are lighted. None are decorated.

Made new bows, one for the tree on the porch, one for the brand new tree downstairs.
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Three of the (I won’t tell you exactly how) many nativities are up.
This is the brand newest one! I found it in this teeny shop, it was hand carved in Ecuador.
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On today’s agenda: Light the big tree and the porch tree. Decorate all three trees. Set up the rest of the nativities. Finish other decorating. Find ornaments for these three boys and Thing 2’s D.
I give each kid an ornament every year for Christmas so that eventually when they have their own tree they’ll have ornaments to put on it.

I just downloaded new Christmas tunes including James Brown’s Funky Christmas! Thing C might be the only other one to appreciate that as much as I do.

It’s “small business Saturday” and we’re going to zip over Old Town to see what we might need…after a bit of breakfast.

Like Brian Setzer I’m Gettin in the Mood (for Christmas) (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

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love was made for me and you

This is one of my favorite images from our wedding.
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Every single photo taken during the ceremony shows my daughters like this.
Thing 2 holding Thing 1’s hand in both of hers. Thing 1 says it’s because she was crying so much and Thing 2 was comforting her.
That sounds about right.

Here’s another one that pleases me. Our first dance.
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L-O-V-E.

It was the very best day I’ve experienced in many years. The absolute joy in the church that day. The love of our closest friends and family surrounding us.
It was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. Not because it was ours, but because it was interactive. The congregants participated in our ceremony. We laughed, we cried.
YBW’s nephew read from Song of Solomon. His oldest friend read from 1 John. Girlie Thing read the Recipe of Love. We made each other cry. My beloved friend and mentor prayed beautifully for us. And that fabulous ‘girl in a collar’ blessed us in the most special way.
In the middle of our beautiful Episcopal ceremony there was a moment for YBW and me to share our own vows. I had practiced so much that I’d committed mine to memory.
When I began to speak, YBW said: You’re not going to read them?
I said: I memorized them.
His eyes got very big and there was laughter in the church.
Thing 2 said: She worked so hard, just let her go!
More laughter.
Mine was a short paragraph about trust and experiencing a different love with him.
YBW borrowed heavily from Joss Whedon and did manage to include “corpsified and gross” much to my joy!

At the reception, our Things made speeches, Thing C and Thing G telling funny and inappropriate YBW stories. Thing C said something about how it’s not YBW and Robynbird anymore, it’s YBW and Robynbird together. (this made more sense in the inflection)
Thing 2 wandered off for a moment but came back to where she started and as hard is her precious little heart is she told us we “made a believer” out of her.
Thing 1 broke my heart talking about happiness and love. She acknowledged how happy YBW helps me be. She expressed her love for him, not simply because of that, but because she loves him.
My precious and darling nephew, Boy Thing spoke of how I wasn’t just his aunt, I was his second mom and he is who he is today because I was in his life.¬†(We cried in each other’s arms for a moment after he finished.)

YBW and I kissed each time the flatware hit the glasses. We laughed as we explained why there was a little black dolly on our wedding cake.
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We danced the night away.
It was the most wonderful day in the history of YBW and Robynbird…so far…

I hadn’t anticipated this post going the way it did when I started. I thought it was going to be about the girls holding hands…turns out I needed to talk about the entire day.
It was a mighty fine shindig.

Categories: love, on being a mom, Uncategorized, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

YBW’s first demolition derby

The county fairgrounds back up to our neighborhood. One week a year we hear the goings on. The beginning of the week we hear the ridiculously loud revving engines of the tractor pull. The end of the week we hear the cars crashing into each other.

Last night, instead of waiting for my dress to come we went to the fair. It was the first night of demolition derby and YBW could hardly stand himself! Plus it was ladies night so I got in for free!
We grabbed the most delicious of all the “bad-for-you” foods ~ fair food, and went to the grandstand to wait.
(Yes, our “white trash” is showing.)

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The wind was blowing towards the bleachers and the dirt and stench of busted up cars came right at us. At the end of the first heat, girl power was in the air. The winner was a young woman! (And quite possibly a high school student, based on my observations of her cheering fans.)
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YBW was lit up like Christmas! Cheering and grinning and having a total blast! He was just like a little kid! And then it occurred to me. I asked if he’d ever been before.
Nope! This was my first one! Can we come back tomorrow?
Me: Buy me a funnel cake?
YBW: Sure!
Me: Of course we’ll come back tomorrow!

The rain came in middle of the second heat and spit on us on and off until the fifth and final heat when the sky opened up and pelted us with big fat plopping rain.
YBW looked at me, he wanted to get more food.
I told him: We’re already wet, who cares.
One corn dog (for me) and a big bag of kettle corn later, we sloshed our way home.
Soaking wet, a little “trashier” but super happy!

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I need to oodgey-goodgey!

You know anticipation when you’re waiting for someone or something to arrive?
You can’t go too far from your front door. You can’t stop looking looking at any flash or movement outside. You won’t even play music for fear of missing the doorbell.

Yeah, I know that anticipation…DHL has a package out for delivery. A package for me. A package that contains my wedding dress!
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Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I need that delivery person to get it together and bring my dress before YBW gets home! I’ll need time to open it up and oodgey-goodgey over it without him here! (He is adamant that he doesn’t want to see it before the wedding day.)

UGH! COME ONE, ALREADY!

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no tiny wine plant in here

YBW and I made a whirlwind thirty-six hour weekend trip to NYC to see Alan Cumming in Cabaret and I documented the trip via Snapchat. It was out of character for me to not pull out the Lumix…but I felt playful and wanted to do something completely different.

Thing 2 sent this in reply to a pic of YBW and me in the security line:
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(A tiny wine plant being a reference to the movie French Kiss.)

To which I replied:
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I sat in the absolute worst spot waiting to board the plane:
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(A la the knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.)

We rode the E train from JFK to 7th Avenue:
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(Their subway is FOUL!)

Checking in at the Wellington:
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Walking through the park just the other day baby. Whaddya, whaddya think I saw?:
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(It was 12 degrees but we loved it.)

A trip to the Met after the long walk through the park wore us out…we sat in the floor for a while, YBW Ingressed and I gave my still healing foot a rest.
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Our view was pretty though:
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Dinner before the play. Two pints of my beloved Harp:
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(From BBC’s Coupling, but Sally and Patrick had martinis not beer.)

The Kit Kat Klub at Studio 54:
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(YBW asked me not to take pics while Alan Cumming was on stage so as not to get us thrown out, please and thank you.)

Whirlwind but SO MUCH FUN!

I’m glad I’m writing again.
After a three month term break, I’m back to school…
My co-teacher and I are committed to bringing Dot to life…
These things will take time, but I will MAKE time to write…for me and for you.

Life isn’t always a cabaret old chum, but we can leave our troubles outside.

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Give the People Tuppence

I absolutely adore Mary Poppins and this post from OM mad me giggle uncontrollably! Enjoy.

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