Thursday, April 26, 2012

when i was a kid my dad and me use to lay out on sleeping bags in the backyard and watch the stars- naturally it was more than merely watching the night sky- it was a time and a special way for my father and me to bond. of course, anytime you hang out with rick harbst you are bound to go away with some new knowledge, or factoid that you were not in possession of prior; hanging out with my dad is like chilling with an interesting (yet zany) encyclopedia (that has legs and arms of course). it was no different as a child of his. on those starry summer nights i learned about astronomy, greek mythology, and theology. if i was not already a lover of the night sky, i soon became one; however, i don't recall ever NOT being amazed by it...but then again i don't recall those first few times i looked up into space without my dad by my side. for me the heavens were, and are, a portal into the ancient world, a beautiful page out of a story book, a brilliant chasm of endless curiosities, and a vessel for awe and wonder at my Creator and his creation.

this past christmas the boys decided jesus was the brightest star in the night sky. i think it originated with the story of His birth in the manager, and the star that showed the way for the three wise man to Him. and while it's not theologically sound, as they sat perched by the huge windows in jons and mine room with the lights out starring up and talking to each other about how He was looking at them right then, it was just too darn cute to correct.

over the weekend we took off, got out of town, and went camping. there are a few things i didn't expect southern california to offer, one of them being, great camping, but lo and behold! i was wrong. we got to our campsite on saturday and left sunday-it was an one day wonder. the boys would have camped the rest of the month if it were possible (they said so themselves), but not knowing how socal'ers coexist out in nature we felt it best for our first go to be a short go.

we played in the creek that ran behind our site, the boys swimming where it was wide and deep enough, climbing over and around boulders that got in our way, and spying on fairies in a sparkling crevice of a trees raised roots; we set up our tent, wrestled on the air mattress, made a fire, roasted marshmallows over said fire, took walks around the campground, and star gazed.

jon and truman had already retired for the night but conrad and me weren't quite ready for our great day to be over. the fire was still crackling and we sat on some rocks positioned around the fire pit. dusk had turned pitch black within a walk to the restroom and putting our food into the back of the car. along with great camping i also wasn't expecting the night skies near or around southern california to be impressive, but lo and behold! i was wrong.

outlined by pines and giant oaks and hills was a dark canvas of countless bright and twinkling stars shining through. for awhile conrad and me strained our necks looking up at them, then we decided to lay on the hood on my car and use the windshield as our pillow. we made up constellations as i have since forgotten all but the big and little dipper, i reminded conrad how the scriptures say God measures the universe in the palm of his hand, and we mutually marvelled at how stunning it was. finding the brightest and biggest star conrad again made comment on that being jesus. i asked him if he really thought that star was jesus and he informed me he did not but that-that brightest and biggest star was like jesus. according to conrad, not only was it the biggest and brightest in the sky, but like jesus, it could see everything, even us.

now, instead of my father teaching me about the wonders of the heavens i have a five year old assisting me in seeing it in a very personal way. count me the most blessed star gazer there ever was.

Friday, April 20, 2012

CBW, also known as Compulsive Butt Wiping (archive)

deleting my myspace account and came across this blog i wrote some years ago on there. i had to save it. enjoy.

Jan 18, 2008

here is something only two people in the world know about me: i am a compulsive butt wiper.

up until yesterday this "illness", as my husband refers to it, had never resulted in any sort of catastrophe. unless of course you consider an occasional asshole bleeding from over-wiping; in which case, my asshole might.

i'm not going to lie and defend that i'm normal. i came to terms with my strangeness in the second grade, i will, however, put out there that at least i don't strip down to my birthday suit just to take a crap like a certain somebody who went to shady grove did, and probably still does.

now, as to my incident, it should be noted that more had gone on than just a single bowel movement. the night before i had, as pregnant women do, woken up various times to go tinkle. yes tinkle not pee. because to pee one would actually have to pee, and tinkling is what happens when all you have in you is a couple drops of urine, though it feels like a full bladder due to a peanut sized baby hanging out on top of it.

being in the middle of the night, with a 18 month old not too far away from the bathroom, i decided to wait till the morning to flush. morning comes and conrad isn't awake, but my morning bm is. i make the choice to go ahead and take my bm in the toilet anyways. which i do.

the afternoon rolls around and conrad and me already have been out and about, but now we are home. he is napping, when lo and behold my afternoon bm comes requesting my attention. i lift the lid to see the most horrific sight: multiple uses. i'm quite aware i HAVE to flush it. as i do the swirling brown and yellow water chokes on it's descent-it makes an upward swirl before it goes tumbling back down in defeat again. i wiggle the handle in Morse code, it reads: go down damnit. but the code is lost, deflected perhaps by the abundance of defected used toliet paper. before i have time to realize what is going on the water has risen over the seat and is pouring down to the shiny taverntine marble, it is a faucet, it does not stop. as i dance from dry spot to dry spot i try to reach the handle i have seen my husband turn in previous fixer up jobs; "lefty loosey, righty tighty" i repeat to myself. but righty isn't working and the water has now left the bathroom and is entering the mini-hallway. i jump out and run to the bedroom for a pair of shoes. the blue dansko clogs will do. i roll my jeans to my thighs, it seems perfectly normal considering how much water is coming from the toilet-fountain. i'm back to that magical handle, but righty still isn't working. by this point the water is in the living room and our bedroom. i'm cursing like a mad women with six swine in her. i run to find my cell phone to call jon; i'm imagining the entire house being flooded, conrad floating by me still sleeping on his mattress. jon doesn't answer. and i'm back to the not so magical handle. i try lefty loosey and it works! the water stops! i keep calling jon to inform him on why he should always answer the phone when i'm calling; i run through the series of events with him. jon knows it's not my first time to clog the toilet because of my need for my asshole to be perfectly clean of feces, but it's my first time to flood the house because of it. before i can finish the part of me effortlessly turning righty he reminds me once again how well he knows me when he asks, "so did you end up trying your other right?"

here is something else only two people know about me: i often confuse my left from my right.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



the pictures are hung on the walls, the dishes are stacked in the cabinets, the backyard is littered with shovels and water guns, and daffodils from easter dinner with the bucks still reside in vases around the living room and kitchen. a rhythm, faint but audible, has begun to emerge in the months since moving to southern california. the boys run through the courtyard and into the library every wednesday, they have items to return, mostly tom n' jerry dvds and books about reptiles and insects, in their arms and they go without hesitation to the return slot and slide them down the ramp; they know the names of roads around here, favorite places to eat (habit, chic-fil-a, the natural cafe), and that it's always best to check the weather and wind down at the beach before going. we've found a church, a dentist, a mechanic; visited the school conrad will be attending next year; signed up for swim lessons at the nearby calabasas swim and tennis center for next month, and have weekly tot soccer obligations. i made cookies tonight, some for us, some for our friends, and some for our neighbors. the settling in has successfully commenced.

of course, the trajectory from relocation to acclimatization hasn't been a total picnic. the first few weeks in our place were a comical tragedy: the place was left in such a state of filth that we had to spend the first day and a half here cleaning, then once unpacked we started to see numerous problems and then the heater broke, the tub busted a hole, the disposal stopped working, there was a leak from our hot water tank going under our room, the carpet had to be replaced because of mold in it, and so on and so forth. still it was only temporary and more importantly God has been showing his goodness and His provision for us through it all. the manna is enough.

jon is enjoying his job. he works right down the rode from where we live, so close that most days he walks home, crossing the golf course behind our house before he swings through those rusty gates. as to how he is liking it here, well... he is for sure doing better than i thought he might. it's not oregon, and he brings that to my attention quite frequently; none the less, to the degree i know he misses oregon, overall he is coping well, even embracing what southern california has to offer-at times. we've tried to seek out a fishing hole suitable for him and conrad to no avail. the trails, while there are many and many felicitous for a good day hike, they don't really compare to the enchanting trails through the wilderness of oregon. however, what we do have is southern california beaches and the pacific ocean lapping up onto it. i'm hoping to put conrad in surf camp this summer, take paddle boarding lessons myself, and score some ocean fishing gear at a yard sale this spring for the boys. when in rome, do as the romans do.

this move is so different from the move jon and i did some six and a half years ago to oregon. foremost, we're in a healthier place in life: relationship sound, with children, a steady job, and community. but the biggest difference, other than the copious amount of sunshine i thank God for every day, is the fact that we knew this is what He wanted for us, and we were in a place in our lives to hear it and to obey it. to know your where He wants you makes all the problems that pop up, the longing for something familiar, and the missing of dear ones not just bearable but happily bearable. southern california doesn't make it to hard to happily bear it either.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

i was designed for here, and then, i was also designed for There. and when i get There i can hardly wait to fulfill that purpose in me, to kneel there and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry at His feet. i have no idea why 'that' but i do-i feel like i was created with that exact purpose in mind.