Sunday, November 14, 2010

sandy harbst, mother and person extraordinaire

it seems like every living soul has too many horror stories to share concerning their mothers, so go ahead and start resenting me now, because i don't have a single one.

my mother is perfect, and being perfect is perhaps her only imperfection. bias, you say. hardly. this mother of mine is nothing short of a modern day miracle. and not only that, but today is her birthday, so keep a lid on whatever psychological evaluation you would like to make about me.

it's a bit to live up to as a mother myself. a bit, i'm almost positive i've already ruined my chances of; the sort of patience my mother possesses is super-natural. i grew up with this sort of constant grace and calmness aimed at me in light of all my mishaps and bouts of ridiculousness. i knew there wasn't anything i could do that would stop her from loving me, or thinking the world of me. she verbalized and lived love and not only towards us her children and my father but towards everyone. my mother will not, nor has she ever uttered a word of malice or contentiousness towards another person. she sees the best in everyone and will only allow herself to be understanding, nothing less. it's amazing. she is amazing. i know only a handful of people who come somewhat close to the degree of selflessness and loveliness as her, and naturally, their either people my mother has influenced like my sisters and father, or, people i've seen this in and have either married or made sure to be best friends with. once you've known someone as beautiful inside and out like my mother, you become a junkie to be close in proximity, via physically or emotionally, to people like that. you want and hope it rubs off on you. you are forever loyal to them.

so today, mother, i salute you. i honor you. i love you.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Built to Spill, Historic Ashland Armory, 11/11/10

any other band and i would have stayed home, nursed my cold with hot tea, nyquil, and an early bed time. but those who know Built To Spill know, they're far from any ol' band. plus, it was my birthday present, the one i bought for my husband to give to me and it was the highlight of my turning of 31. whatever hardships i knew i was to encounter because of the late night and early rising child and cold that i was most likely going to aggravate because of the neglect i was going to have to give my body in order to go was going to be worth it. and it was.

ashland is weird though. i was hoping to find my new best friend there. me, her, side by side at the show drinking a beer, rocking out with our fists pumping then somehow a natural conversation would ensue as lead man, doug, tuned his guitar in between songs. we'd start chatting, buy each other a beer, realize how much we had in common ,exchange numbers, or maybe just look one another up on facebook- both amazed we both we're living in the same valley all this time and had never met, because, well, we're obviously made for one another. next thing you know we're going out for lemongrass margaritas on a tuesday night and having the time of our lives.

maybe i was standing in the wrong spot, because i spent the entire show by myself. no conversations in between songs. no "what are you drinking?". no euphony of similarities, or facebook searches later that night, or lemongrass margarita plans. however, oh however, their were plenty of pot smelling hippies swaying enthusiastically out of rhythm and numerous girls in a dance/aerobic circles who clearly weren't about the music but about showcasing their retardness and whoredom; there were middle aged men with 1998 goatees swarming underage hotties, and that's about it. or at least from where i was standing. which, since i was by myself and not going to drink enough to allot to my confidence quota for 'in the front fist pumping and bra slinging', i was in the back, in the middle where i know acoustics are there best, and they were.

i will admit, at first, i wasn't all too impressed. my first time to see Built to Spill was from the vantage of backstage; the air was charged, the sound perfect, and the view impeccable. it still stands as the best show i've ever seen (right under it is seeing Trail of the Dead at Clearview. holy !!!!. that show was off the hook awesome.) this time around however they seemed to get off to a sluggish start, totally void of that electric pulse in your heart you get at a truly awesome show. but a little half way through the set, it was on. and by the encore, i was ready to run my bra to the front.

this morning i'm hurting, but damn it feels good to be a cowboy. or, you know.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

five minutes away is a little town no bigger than a hippie chic's armpit bush, that has every charm every parent dreams about raising their kids around. Main St. is only a few blocks long with a valley beyond it known for it's mom and pop wineries and idyllic afternoon drives. the town itself consists of a handful of special shops, a restaurant or four, a top notch outdoor music venue that looks across at the stark in comparison bare eastern hills that always it seems are illuminated with a blazing sunset, a post office the size of a public restroom, a richard scary style fire station, a park, a church, a school, and a library. the trees along the streets swoop down and around the cottage style homes, sometimes shabby chic and sometimes shabby socal. bambi and her family are familiar figures laying in front yards, or crossing the street, or dashing through the park. everyone it seems knows everyone. the crime rate is so low it measures invisible. and it was named one of the top ten coolest small towns to live in by yahoo, and yes it is, none other than, jacksonville.

since moving to southern oregon, and then a few short weeks later finding out i was pregnant, jon and i both knew jacksonville would be the ideal town to raise our family in. but that was at the height of the market, just before the bubble burst and home prices adjusted meagerly to the demographic median salary. at the time, a starter home in jacksonville would set one back close to half a million, and obviously, that was a LOL sort of notion for us.

we're still not much closer today than we were five years ago to the "dream" of home buying, which is more than fine with me, i'm not altogether convinced owning is better than renting anyways, but with conrad just half a year away from starting kindergarten, i am over our stint in medford and ready to materialize the intention of us in jacksonville.

otherwise, i want the beach.

Friday, October 29, 2010

potty training conrad was like a high five you already had your hand raised for. one friday morning i woke up and decided it was time. i told him it was time. i took off his diaper, pointed to the potty, and then to the glass jar of rainbow colored chocolate incentives. that was it. he was potty trained.

truman, on the other hand, is proving to actually needing to be trained....on the potty and not in his pants. prior to truman, and after conrads lessons in bladder mastery, there were all these other kids we knew, kids who were conrads age and constantly crapping themselves, or their mothers would have to ask them if they had to go, if they were going to go in a sanitary means. it was foreign and frightening to me- i didn't understand why the kids didn't just excuse themselves and go to the restroom when they needed like my all-amazing conrad.

on a typical day truman poops himself at least once. at first i threw away his training underwear not sure what to do with a cloth bowl of crap. or, more honestly, knowing what to do but beyond disgust to actually bring myself to deal with said crap bowl. after a few times i realized that wasn't very earth friendly of me nor was it financially beneficial. so i began running the stinky, messy 2Ts to the wash, or if we were out, to a plastic bag i had brought ahead and had tucked in one of the front zip-up pockets of my purse. that was a few weeks ago, and we are, slowly but surely, getting better. some days, he's perfect: accident, poop-pants, free. and then some days, i gain empathy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

(i'm going to go ahead and move past my reality this morning of truman having thrown up since 6am and that i'm pretty sure i reek of stomach acid and digested food, which is because after one of the many up chucks of what looked like the reminisce of pumpkin seeds and mac and cheese, truman attempted to wipe his nose when he began to throw up once more and then so proceeded to go ahead and rub the vomit all in his hands all over his face and then of course turn into me for comfort and place those hands full of bits and pieces of his dinner onto my sweater. in case you were wondering, life with little kids is fun. oh yes.)

i grew up with two sisters, me in the middle. we weren't necessarily girly-girls, though sure as a small child i lived for dresses that "danced" when i spun around and my most valuable belonging was a Hello Kitty picnic set, or that i spent many an afternoons under the slide at the park with my best friend Kristy Nugen talking about my deep love for Joey McIntyre, and/or playing MASH. otherwise, i was, as were my sisters, as tom boy as a tom boy can be with the previously stated clause taken into consideration. mud pies were a daily occurrence and so was arranging the backyard into an obstacle course for us to run our bikes into various obstacles. my favorite past time was hiking along the creek at Cedar Hill State Park looking as we went for critters of any kind, and evidence remains in a family picture album of my sweet little girl self poised with a dead fish, my hands in the guts.

none the less, none of my tom boy adventures and tendencies could have EVER prepared me for life with three boys. i often inquire from my husband if 'this' or if 'that' is normal- completely expecting him to inform me that our two boys are indeed crazier and wilder than other little boys. however, not once have i received a single confirmation to any idiosyncrasy, on the contrary. supposedly it's normal to, instead of making sand castles in a sand pit, make sand balls for a sand ball fight. and use tinker toys as make shift guns. and turn snuggle time into wrestling time.

i know i'm not ready. i don't know when i will be, but i can't help but think a baby sister is what is needed in order to bring a little civilization, and sand castles and pretty pictures of flowers, to this equation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

if ten years ago someone would have told me that ten years later i would be a housewife raising two little boys in a small town in oregon existing on one meager income, i would have laughed, then punched them in the guts for predicting, as i wold have seen it ten years ago: a boring and mundane life. i had dreams. head in the clouds, stars exploding in my eyes, fantasies on a simply fantastic and glittered life. however, by my mid twenties i began to realize the world was much bigger than i could have ever imagined, and i, compared to the greats i wanted to duplicate greatness and goodness from, were indeed leaps and bounds greater and better than i. so while reality gave me a heaping dose of itself, i began the pursuit of contentment and happiness.

in southern oregon there are mountains with foothills piled in front of them; there are rivers, wild and scenic and every other synonym that goes with the first two descriptive adjectives; there are vineyards that glow like a day dream at sunset and sunrise; there are sky blue lakes with fathers around the edges fishing with their sons; there are small towns that evoke norman rockwall scenes of good ol' america where kids in overalls (or appaman) ride their bikes to the icecream (or gelato) parlour and give reports to all the older folks passing by who know them and want to know how their doing in school. it's a far cry from where i came from, and yet somehow there are days i get sicker than the inside of a dead bloated pig on just how much i miss texas. sometimes it sneaks up on me in a wilco song, or after a bad experience at a mexican restaurant, or because i've stopped long enough to realize how greatly i miss connections with some of the best people, friends and family, in the world. other times it's because it's the month of may and i'm still cold and it's still raining. still.

not know however. right now it's the beginning of autumn, the air is cool and warm all in the same sensation, the bounty of trees here and there and there and here are all turning to electric reds and yellows and oranges; carved pumpkins litter front porches, and the promise of a great saturday or sunday at one of a dozen pumpkin patches sits in the back of the throat, like a tickle. kinda.

i'm 31 now. i started blogging when i was 23. this blogspot doesn't have the genesis of me as a blogger, that one i tossed after it had been used as a wet-one/and, or mop for a heart break i was at the time experiencing and just didn't want any memory of. of course i regret that decision tremendously now that their is no sting or gush of blood pouring from my heart. and here at 31 i now see, i don't have the best or the greatest nor do i need to be utterly content in the simple, and the simple doesn't have to equate mundane and boring just as glitter and exploding stars don't necessarily elude to fantasy. i suppose, without much further elaboration, if someone came up to me and repeated to me the facts about my life, i'd smile, then i'd keep on aspiring (and from time to time, missing my homestate).