a tune for Tuesday vol 74

I’ve never been shy about expressing my love for The Kills. In fact, they are one of my all time favorite bands.
Well, Alison Mosshart just put out this single and I’m kinda digging it.

Check out Rise and let me know what you think!

Please listen responsibly.

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

learning to do what’s right

I know what it’s like to be poor in America.
And I mean poor. The kind of poor in which a family is chronically on the verge of homelessness.
I know what it’s like to be a woman in America.
A place in which my rights to my own bodily autonomy hang by a thread. A place where I remain constantly vigilant whenever and wherever I am out in the world.
I understand being fearful.
I understand being hungry.
I understand feeling my effort to improve my life falling consistently short.
But even though I know these situations, I cannot fathom the depth of feelings they would bring if I was a person of color instead of a white woman.

I understand grief. I understand trauma. I know how hard it is to experience these huge feelings.
I understand the need for peaceful protest. My God, I understand the need for non-peaceful protest.
I find myself working so hard to understand how deep and wide is the pool of fear and grief that causes people to destroy their homes and businesses. That the only way to express that desperate depth of feeling is to lash out at your own neighborhoods.
I have no way of understanding the endless generational racial trauma constantly pounding down on people of color. That level of pain. That constant barrage of fear and grief and killing.
No human should be made to live like that!

What is going on in America is frightening!
The status quo is sick and wrong! It needs to change!
I have so many feels and no where to go with them.
I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to do.
But I have to try!

I don’t know what’s the right thing to do.
I am fearful of doing the wrong thing.
I am fearful that by doing the wrong thing, I’ll contribute to making the situation worse.
I am fearful that by doing nothing to avoid doing the wrong thing I am actively making the situation worse.

Because I’m a white woman, I feel like my voice can be easily misconstrued as disingenuous and I feel unsure about speaking out. However, I realize my silence is me being complicit.
I feel like my duty is to listen and learn as much as I can.
I feel like my duty is to support those who need it.
I feel like my duty is to help educate people. Especially people like me who won’t ever have to worry because of the color of their skin.

We are one human family.
I am resolved learn how to be a true ally.
I may stumble and make things temporarily worse. But I am committed to doing what is right. I am working toward being a true member of this human family.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

the view from here

The last two days, I feel like I’ve been in seriously great Momma mode!
Y’all, I’m so blessed to be my daughters mother. They are incredible women, and my love for them is unconditional and limitless!

Yesterday Thing 2 and I talked for a while for the first time since my birthday. I assisted her in some important decision making, and provided over all Momma love and support. That girl is made of some seriously sturdy stuff, but sometimes needs help remembering. It’s hard when you feel like you have to do everything on your own. Being reminded you have loving, supportive people in your corner helps get you out of your head and provides a fresh perspective on everything.

This morning Thing 1 was feeling a bit overwhelmed by her own great and arduous task of packing her house. I asked if she was needing assistance planning or simply needed to be heard. She was all about the help.
So I suggested she start with a list (I mean of course I did, I’m the freaking List Lady after all!). I suggested she plan out what needs to be packed and then create a timeline.
Of course Baby K is like, WTF mommy? when Thing 1 is trying to pack instead of playing. I know that’s hard for both of them.
But I was struck with an idea!
What if Thing 1 actively packed for only twenty minutes each hour!?! She may not feel like she’s accomplishing much, or even finish packing one box, but she might feel less overwhelmed, and Baby K won’t get her diapie in a twist at being ‘ignored’.
Set a timer! Crank the music! Make a game of it! Baby K will love that, and Thing 1 can get things done without too much stress.
And, if she does her twenty minutes at the top of each hour, they have that last forty minutes to play together!

And in this house…
Yesterday afternoon, I opened one of the bins YBW and I pulled out of the utility room.
It was labeled with the names of my grandparents followed by the words family info.
So I was pretty much expecting all the genealogy stuff my mother complied in her lifetime. That was what I remembered putting in the bin after going through all the stuff my mother’s husband gave me five years ago.
But damn if I didn’t surprise myself!
In that bin was more so much more than the genealogy information.
Some random af stuff I didn’t know what to do with when I initially received it, but felt comfortable deciding yesterday.
Grandaddy’s harmonica.
My mom’s passport in which I too am in the photo as I was in her belly.
My grandmother’s hand written birth certificate.
And this (these?) gem(s).

I was able to divide and conquer everything, saving some things I want the girls to see before I dispose of them, and only had a small discard pile.
Of course now I have a stuffy headache from the mildew that clings to some of those items. It’s worth it.

Today I’m kind of being quiet. That is, not really doing much. Some writing. A bit of tidying. A bit of ridiculousness…
YBW is working from home this week so I went in there and said, You have a minute? He turned to give me his undivided attention.
Me: Wanna know how old I am?
YBW: Forty nine.
Me: Yeah, but not in chronological time.
YBW: …
Me: I think I need a neckchain for my reading glasses.
YBW: smiles but says nothing…
Me: If I’m wearing a pony or bun-bun I can’t put them on top of my head, they fall off.
YBW: serious face but silent…
Me: Is that ridiculous?
YBW: Not if me in my shorts and tee, and socks and slippers, and hoodie isn’t too ridiculous.
Me: I love everything about you.
YBW: Me too, baby.

Good Lord, we’re ridiculous!
At least each of us thinks this about the other.

This afternoon I’ll be focusing on organizing music, doing a bit of research on brain health and mental illness, and shopping for some stylish chains for my reading glasses.
Can you handle the excitement?

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

a tune for Tuesday vol 73

I’m a fan of Brendan Benson. Have been for fifteen years.
I love his solo stuff, I love the Raconteurs.
This is Good To Be Alive from his brand new record, Dear Life.
Let me know what you think!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

time: spending spree or saving for a rainy day?

Excellent news!
The person who was in YBW’s office tested negative for covid!
WOOT!
Even though it turned out to be nothing, my husband’s company took this seriously and was proactive. The decision to send everyone home and have the office properly cleaned shows the health and wellbeing of the employees is important. While it may be a simple fact of keeping everyone healthy so they can remain at work, I appreciate the effort because it helps keep my husband healthy.

In other news:

With so much ‘free time’ we are tackling as many time consuming tasks as possible.
House things are at the top of that list. Things that need to be done as we live here, and in the knowledge that this prep work will assist us when it’s time to move into our new house.
YBW has lived in this house twenty one years. In addition to his own things, he accumulated things from his parents. This time is a gift in which to sort and purge, and make decisions about how he wants to curate his life at the end of his time in this house and the way he plans to live in the new house.

In the unfinished part of our basement in which the mechanicals are housed, there’s also shelving and storage bins. He began tackling his stored things early this year, but on Saturday, I requested his assistance to access three bins of my stuff. It was a successful bit of work as we did a quick survey and purge of other things too. All in less than half an hour!
I’ll be going through those bins this week.

I’m all about this organization, y’all!

Yesterday, YBW cleaned out his closet. And since I already did mine, I chose an activity that kept us in the same room and able to talk about what he went through.
I ironed all our napkins.

Y’all it was so damn satisfying.

Porch life is in full swing!
This week:
Nora joined me for a porch life visit.
we had a virtual happy hour on the porch with YBW’s work friends for which I quickly threw together a half-assed charcuterie board.
we popped bubbly during appropriately social distanced porch life with our neighbors.

Today we planned on a shoot day, but it’s cloudy and damp. Not the best lighting or weather for taking photos.
Maybe I’ll get on my bins sooner than I thought?

I find myself go through spurts of being uber productive. All mindful and self aware. Only to flip the coin and spend an entire day watching Youtube vids, or blazing through books.
I’m currently rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. In true Give a Mouse a Cookie form, watching them highlights how different from the books they are, and how book Ron and movie Ron are two completely different characters, and how much I adore the books, and now I find myself wanting to read them all over again.
My journaling already killed one pen.
I’m on the porch as often as possible.

Do y’all find yourselves doing the home tasks you’ve put off?
Are you using this forced free time to your advantage?
Are you equal parts ‘ruthless efficiency’ and ‘straight chillin’?
Are your streaming subscriptions at peak ‘worth the cost’?
Are you tackling your TBRs?
What about your gardens?
Are you sick of the news?
Do you miss going places?
Are you content to be at home?
Are you tired of being asked questions?

Dang! All those questions felt a bit like…

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

whatcha think?

So, a person who was in YBW’s office has covid symptoms. *symptoms – not a diagnosis*
They found out Thursday morning about 10:15 and sent everyone home. I was shocked to find him home when I returned from the grocery store at noon.
Cleaners went in to do a deep clean and no one is allowed back in the office until Tuesday.

I asked if it was one of his coworkers. The answer is no.
They think it was an HVAC specialist who was in the office after hours.

So, yeah… that’s a thing.

YBW asked if he got sick would I want him to ‘move to the basement’ and stay put there for a few weeks.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.
I may have already been exposed, so is it actually helpful?
It’ll create more work for me if he moves downstairs, and that’s not at all helpful. I also wouldn’t be able to provide the level of care he might need.
On the other hand, it may help keep me healthy. And I’m all about being healthy, yo.
In the ten years we’ve been together, neither of us has ever been a contagious kind of sick.

I’m curious what y’all think.
How would you handle covid in your household? Would you separate if you could? Would you simply assume everyone had been infected and not change anything?
Any thoughts about what we might do?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

the choices we make

The other day LA wrote a post in which she said “I want you to think about how you really feel about the situation.” The ‘situation’ being the world in which we currently live.

You know, I didn’t realize how much I actually felt about this situation because I’ve become somewhat immune to it. But upon further thought, this is what I think and how I feel about where we are right now.

I miss going to school. I miss students and faculty. I miss everything about it!
Schools here are beginning to discuss what August will look like. There is talk in our county of further distance learning.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand, ‘getting back to normal’ sounds wonderful. Being in the classrooms, teaching and learning together. On the other, how safe are we going to be with a thousand kids from age 4 to 12 in tight space?

I truly believe I’m helping by remaining at home.
That doesn’t mean I like it.
Here in America, there’s a great uproar about civil liberties. It’s mostly people who want to go about and do the things. They don’t care that they could get or make others sick. They want to do what they want to do when they want to do it and don’t feel like they should be told any differently.
I have real issue with this. This is toddler behavior. And I’m speaking from a brain development point of view. Also as someone who’s spent most of her adult life around toddlers.

And let me assure you, I understand the financial impact. Two of our four kids work in the service industry. Thing 2 is a server in a restaurant. She was fortunate to qualify for unemployment for a while, but now that the state in which she lives is opening back up, she had to go back to work regardless of her safety or the safety of others.
Thing G is a cashier at the Dollar Tree. And though his hours have dropped dramatically, he’s still going to work. He’s at risk, he’s putting others at risk.
I understand the economy is struggling, but people are dying. I cannot fathom how to put a dollar amount on human life.

If we don’t choose to accept that our actions impact others we’re doomed.
I mean, I’d love to go get a pedicure, or have browse Home Goods, or go out to dinner. But I’m hopeful that by staying in, I’m helping keep us all safe.
And if it turns out I’m wrong, so be it. It wasn’t that hard, and it’s not worth the shoulda coulda woulda drama.

I am aware that my choices impact everything and everyone around me. That’s enough for me to pay attention. To do what I believe is the right thing. I can see the bigger picture. I am part of one human family.
Some people don’t look at life that way. And that too is OK. We each have the right to our own choices.
It comes down to individuals making choices that impact others without thought. Without empathy.
We’re all in this together, but there are individuals who value their own desires over the greater good.
That’s your right.
But your right shouldn’t impede mine.

This pandemic has negatively impacted my country more by furthering the divide than by the death rate number.
It makes me sad.
It makes me angry.
I’m tired of the conservatives and liberals alike behaving like monkeys, throwing poo and screeching just to hear themselves.

There must be a better way.
The way it is is so deeply entrenched that to change it would take a straight up revolution.
Is that what’s best for any of us?

There must be a way to exercise our freedoms without negatively impacting the freedoms of others. Perhaps speaking and acting with kindness and empathy instead of finger pointing and name calling…?
The goal is for everyone to have the right to make their choice without fear or judgement. Without risk to self or others. The trick is each of us having the willingness to try.

I’m going to borrow LA’s words to ask what y’all think.

“Not what your friend thinks.
Not what the media tells you to think.
Not what you’re ‘supposed’ to think.
What do YOU think?”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

things are just things

Y’all know Thing 1 and her family will be living in our house for a few months starting some time in July.
Y’all know YBW and I are eager to purchase and move into that townhouse.
The first of these will cause a change in the way we live in this house.
The second how we live in our new house.

This got me thinking about how I currently live in this house, how I want to live my remaining time in this house, and how I want to live in the new house.
Not how YBW and I live together. Those things must be decided by us as a unit.
I’m thinking how I want to live and what that means for me as a member of our household.

This thought process has been somewhat active as we begin to make preparations, but hatched into actual thoughts when I sent a photo to Thing 1 and Thing 2 asking if either of them had any interest in this item.

The story is my great aunt made this lamp for me. I don’t know when, but I do know I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my bedroom.
This Raggedy Ann lamp is a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I don’t have any strong feels about it.
Thing 1 remarked that it’s one of those things that just stuck around.
The more I considered this, the more I realized that’s not a mindful way to live. At least I feel that way now about how I want to live.
Of late, I’ve worried that it may seem as though, and sometimes even feels like I’m just purging to purge, but I’m actually being super mindful about the way I want to live.
And what I surround myself with.
And what I leave behind needs to be the truest representation of the me I am (was?), and be simple for my daughters to handle.

I have this feeling it’s like shedding skin…
Or some sort of evolutionary process…
Leaving behind who you were in a mindful and respectful way and making room to become the next version of you…?

This is the last year of my forties, a natural phase of evolution as we get ready for a decade change. As I look at my life, I see how much my surroundings impact the way I live. By going through my things in a respectfully mindful way, I can prepare and environment that will meet my needs. Living my intention. Thriving in an environment that gives me everything I need with the bonus of things that foster learning and creativity. An environment in which I have enough room and the proper tools to grow into the next version of me.

Even though this lamp has been in my life as long as I can remember I don’t have any real feels about it.
Lack of feels is a strong indication that I don’t need it in my life which obviously means there’s no place for it in my house.
Purging to purge isn’t always healthy.
But being mindful about how I curate my environment is incredibly healthy.

My mom was not a full blown horder, but she was sure as hell a packrat. What I’ve learned about her since she’s been gone is that she saved things to fill emotional emptiness. By simply having these things she could feel the feels she didn’t have inside her.
She saved things that meant something because of the feels they evoked in her. Feels she couldn’t experience any other way.
My ex husband is exactly the same.
There is something about possessing particular items that provides some sort of emotion they otherwise lack (lacked). I truly believe it reinforces their stunted emotional growth. Then the weight of the things traps (trapped) them, so there’s no room to learn, or create, or grow.

I understand having great big feels about certain items. For me, a specific example of this is my Grandaddy’s wallet. It is of absolutely no use to me, but the feelings that bubble up in me when I hold it make it worth keeping.
But that is one particular item that is in a special place in my bookshelf that I can go to when I want to feel the intensity of those feels.
It doesn’t impact the way I live. It doesn’t block creativity or inhibit learning. It doesn’t waste space. It doesn’t keep me from growing as a human.
And I know as I write this that there will come a point in time I’ll be willing to let it go. Today is not that time.

I can’t be trapped by possessions. I need freedom to move. If I can’t move, I can’t grow.
I need to grow!
I want to evolve in my relationships with my friends.
I want to evolve in my relationships with my daughters.
I want to evolve with my granddaughter as she builds relationships.
I want to evolve in my relationship with my precious husband.

Things are just things.
At this stage of my life, my main focus is to curate my surroundings in a way that helps me thrive. Living my intention, learning and creating, and growing into the next version of me gives me all the feels.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 72

I love this Declan McKenna song.
What do y’all think about Beautiful Faces?

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day seven

Today is the last day of International Week of the Birthday.
Even during this strangest of times, when everything is different and we’re all a bit fearful, I feel celebrated. Part of that is me just being me. I love birthdays! The day you came into the world is the most precious and sacred event and should be celebrated to the nth degree!
Earlier this week I wondered perhaps a grown woman shouldn’t be as excited about celebrating her birthday as I am. But the more I considered it, the more I realized who else should celebrate the anniversary of my birth more than me?
I’ve lived through every moment of my life. I’ve made it to this place where I can say, I’m forty nine years old and I am (for the most part) content with the me I am.
What’s more cause for celebration than that?

I’m not exactly the me I intended. In many ways I’m so much more! In other ways I see room for improvement. But I celebrate that too!
I am this me, and can continue my work to become an even more me.

This post didn’t go the way I expected when I began, but I quite love where it lead us.
Even though IWotB is ending today, I’m going to keep celebrating my me. The me I was. The me I am. The me I work to become. Because each version of me did, and will continue to live my intention, learn and grow, suffer and backslide, experience love, and loss, and I will celebrate every moment with joy and gratitude! I choose to celebrate the good, bad, ugly, and indifferent, because they created the me I am today. And I’m worth celebrating!
I encourage all y’all to celebrate your yous. The past, present, and future you. Celebrate becoming the you you long to be. Celebrate your you, I promise you’re worth it!

Crowley is my spirit animal

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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