January 4th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

All in all, 2014 was beautifully and wonderfully life changing. Today I took a moment to open my gratitude jar, look through all the notes, and relive the joy.

a year of gratitude

I am smiling.

And so the jar, now empty, is ready to capture the joys of 2015.  It’s off to a beautiful start, and with this start, a new word to focus or define the year.  I’ve found my word for 2015.

A S S U R A N C E

December 31st, 2014 | Enter your password to view comments.

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July 6th, 2012 | 2 Comments »

These are my people.  They are a part of me.  I am a part of them.  Uncle walked through the door and I saw my dad – they could have been one and the same.  I couldn’t hold back the tears.  We embraced.  We spoke of life.  Uncle tells me how very proud of us my dad was, and how much he loved us, his children.  He explains an unfortunate nuance of Korean culture in which the fathers have burning love in their hearts for their children, but their sense of aristocratic decencies prohibit them from expressing this love.  He speaks in response to my surprise at learning that my dad was proud of us, and especially proud of me.  I never knew.  It’s a tragic cultural chasm, for parents to be unable to show or assure their children of their love.

my people

My aunt is so beautiful.  Her smile radiates.  Her love for everyone emanates.  Her name is fitting – it means Powerful Love.  Auntie’s cooking is the best Korean cooking in all the land.  All the Korean ladies want to learn her ways.  She prepared a glorious feast for her family, our family.

When the siblings and I were alone, they remarked at how talkative Daddy was – they’d seldom seen him so.  I shared with them the things  he’d told me about a Korean father’s love and pride for his children, and his reticence to express it and I realize that they have grown up much the same as my siblings and I, in the shadow of fierce love.  We have all made strides to ensure that our children, the next generation, are secure in their knowledge of the love we have for them.  This is our gift to our children.

I gaze upon my cousins – I can’t stop looking at them.  I see my own brothers and sisters, I see myself.  The pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place and I see who we are.  I see who I am.  I know where I’m from.

first cousins first meet - part I

first cousins first meet - part II

What a gift these days have been.

September 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

twilight

Tonight I wrote ‘Dear John’ letters to all my men, releasing them from my snare.  This meeting and dating business is too overwhelming for me.  I am a sequential person, when it comes to men, and this juggling of men is just exhausting.  I can’t do it.  I need to focus and re-focus then re-focus again on my little men, so that I can keep their interests front and center.

front and center

Front and center. They are my world. As they should be.

August 22nd, 2010 | No Comments »

Stupid stupid stupidy server that keeps choking, how am I supposed to blog with you being so fickle?

Gadget’s MO is to play his passive aggressive games and not give me the courtesy of any advance notice with regard to when he will take the boys. While it appears there may be a light at the end of this tunnel, since he’s expressed interest in synchronizing the visitation with his new woman’s visitation schedule such that all children can be together for the same weekend, there is no guarantee that he will follow through with any level of consistency.

Anyhow. He called at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and said he’d take the kids, and to meet him at 9 a.m. Nice. Does this give me time to make any sort of weekend plans?

I prefer to be able to make plans. I still sort of fall apart when the boys aren’t here. As much as I yearn for some down time or me time, I still haven’t learned how not to fall apart when they’re not here. A cloud of anguish descends — the grief that we aren’t a family, and I so, so, so want to be a family. Not with Gadget. That ship has sailed. It’s just grief that we aren’t a family, or rather, I’m not a family when my boys are gone. So I fall apart. Because, truly, that’s all I want. Family. Sigh. Therefore, knowing this is how things tend to go, I like to be able to book up my alone time so that I don’t have much time to fall under the spell of that cloud that so deftly and swiftly descends upon me.

Luckily, I’ve been able to schedule very short notice massage appointments each time I’ve come upon a free weekend. If nothing else, this indulgence does much to improve my overall well being. Man hands on me, this time for two full hours, working deep, deep, deep into the bound up muscles of my body. Wow, that almost sounds saucy. I could put a little more effort into that prose and come up with something racy! Massage doesn’t have to be man-hands. I’ve been trying different practitioners, but lately am pleased with this particular therapist. He’s got a little familiarity now with what I need, and because we went for two hours yesterday, he really made some progress and was able to loosen up the upper back and shoulders. I’ve been having chronic headaches, so this is a step in the right direction. And besides, I’ll take two hours of man hands on me any day, even if I have to pay for it!

So this free time can become very expensive. Shopping is one thing that gets me out of the house and that can be done on the spur of the moment. And what struck my fancy this weekend? I stumbled upon this iPod speaker contraption called an iHome, that claims to produce excellent sound. It’s kind of odd looking, and more expensive than the other options, but I figured, what the heck. I can return it if I don’t like it. Oh, I love Costco. Love. Costco is my crack. There, I said it.

Of course I can rationalize any mad spending. See, a speaker solution for the iPod allows me to listen to music without having to wear headphones and carry the iPod around. I seldom have pockets, so have to stuff the thing in my bra. And if I’m dancing around, well, it gets sweaty. Gross! Not to mention potentially limiting the lifespan of my iPod. Electronics and moisture don’t play well together. That’s just plain irresponsible, and we can’t have that!  And singing and dancing to music, reliving memories and experiences that the music evokes, is very therapeutic. Therefore it’s good for my soul. Good for my well being. And something that is good for my well being is worth spending mad money on. Yes? Yes!

I’m good. What can I say.

I tried to wrangle together a date or two within my minuscule window, but it’s just as well that I wasn’t successful. I could get myself into trouble if I acted on spontaneity like that! Instead, I stayed in, drank some wine, bombarded everyone’s FaceBook walls, and cyber flirted. So entertaining. This week I’ve had a sugar daddy offer, a few boy toy prospects, a heap of not-at-all-my-type-please-leave-me-alone pursuers, messages from a small handful of actually nice sounding men, including one or two I might agree to actually meet in person. Maybe. Or maybe not.

It’s fun, but wearying. I don’t really want to look around, troll about, or anything like that. I just want Mister Right-For-Me to show up in front of me, and I want to recognize him, say, “Hello there cutie pie, how are you, where have you been all my life?”, to which he says, “Looking for you, Sweetheart”, and that’s that. We live happily ever after. We don’t have to figure out if we’re ready to meet or even be with someone. We don’t have to figure out if we’re compatible. We don’t have to figure out if we’ll get along until we’re a hundred and one. We don’t have to wonder if the love and honor and respect and compassion and communication and understanding and interest and attraction and affection and everything or anything else will ever fade. We don’t have to wonder if the other will help raise our kids the way we want them to be raised. We don’t have to wonder if they’ll be true and honest. We don’t have to wonder if they’ll always have our back.  We don’t have to wonder if they’ll be responsible and trustworthy. We just jump into forever together.

I know. I’m bat crazy.

hello cutie pie, it's me, bat-girl

I don’t want that sugar daddy, though. That much I do know.

Oh, and that iHome thingy?  Sounds pretty darn good.  Whodathunkit?

Tags:
August 19th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

My blog, or rather, my full web server, which means all of my web sites and my email accounts have been down for days.  Days!  Oh, the forced separation from blogland was rough.  I had to post my drivel to FaceBook.  And people, I have to restrain myself there, because it’s like business and pleasure or religion and politics.  They just don’t mix well.  And I need a place to release my innermost stuff!

Like my adventures in cyber flirting.  I can’t exactly post anything juicy on FaceBook, where coworkers and extended family members nose about.

Not that it’s all that juicy, but it certainly is entertaining.

sizzle me this

I send text messages with flirty pictures like this.  Oh the fun.  Saucy me.  Such a tart.

I’m being a good girl, though.  Truly.  It’s all in good fun.  I seldom actually meet anyone in person.  A few, though.  Have I met anybody neato bandito?  It’s interesting, how you just never know with people.  They may seem interesting on line, but not at all interesting in real life, and vice versa.   …no keepers, and not many second dates.  But I am currently entertained by and with one man whom I’ve just met in real life, and I do think we will actually see each other again.  He’s made it clear that he’s not ready for a relationship and that he wants to pursue friendship(s), and that’s fine by me.  A relief, actually.  Maybe we’ll have some fun making out, though.  Wheeeee!

It’s nice to have at least a little diversion, anyway.

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Posted in adventures, me, men
August 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

The other day while my cleaning girl was cleaning (yes, I indulge in hiring out, and am tickled beyond all reason to say that I haven’t cleaned a toilet in over two years…   ..TWO YEARS!!!!   …and no, she doesn’t do as great a job as I would, were I to be doing the cleaning, but I’m okay with that since it’s SO nice that it’s not me wielding the scrubber) I noticed the vacuum cleaner was making a terrible loud noise.  I checked the usual suspects – belt, hose, bag – and came up with nothing.  It was still sucking, so I let it go.

Then, after returning from a fantastic week of vacation during which many small and large bodies filled cracks and crevices in my car with beach sand, twigs, pebbles and all manner of flotsam and jetsam, I decided to [*gasp*] clean the car.  I fired up the vacuum cleaner and the noise was unbearably loud, and after a very short time, a hot smell emerged.  Crap.  Definitely something was wrong with it.  Which completely sidetracked my car-cleaning mojo.

Thanks to the wonder of modern technology (and high speed internet, coupled with a myriad of helpful folks out there who like to post how-to information for various and sundry reasons) I quickly learned that the observed symptoms were likely due to a broken fan.  It’s very easy to confirm — just remove the front piece and take a look.

yep, that's the fan, and yep, it's broken

Voila!  Confirmed (note large black region where fan blades used to be).

The next step was to find a replacement part.  We have the wonder of eBay for that.

one can find anything on eBay

Sometimes eBay is fantastic.  In this case, I got the part I needed plus a bonus spare belt, all shipped directly to my home for under $20.  No schlepping around the city looking for a repair shop that stocks Kirby parts (and sells them at full retail prices, because they can).

Next, with the aforementioned helpful information at my fingertips, I set about the replacement.

gaining access

off with the old

on with the new

good as new

tools of the trade and spoils of war

In the meantime, I still went to Costco and bought another vacuum cleaner.  Just in case.  It’s still in the box.  Oreck pro something or other.  I might do a vacuum comparison and see how well it performs.  Maybe I’ll retire my Kirby.  I was suckered by the door-to-door salesman, oh, fifteen or twenty years ago.  It has held up, until now.  Not that I’d say that makes it worth the king’s ransom that it cost.

Anyway.  Bottom line?  I am woman, hear me roar!  Isn’t there a song that goes something like, “anything he can do I can do better”?  Well, that’s me!  Take that, non-existent male counterpart.  Who needs you anyway?

July 30th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

self portraitI’ve been on vacation all week, and it’s been fantastic.  I’ve shaken and sobbed for joy to see a long lost brother, and then again to see another brother’s first, last and only baby — a girl who looks so much like him that I can’t help but gaze in wonder and awe.  I’ve been to two states beyond my own, driven hundreds of miles, experienced sunsets, moonrise, glorious days, wildlife, wildflowers, forests, trails, beaches, lake swimming, campfires, and a thunder storm.  I drank one shot of smooth smooth whiskey and had one breath of something illegal and one breath of something legal.  I’ve played softball with the kids.  I’ve had endless cups of incredible coffee and tea.  I’ve washed mountains of dishes and mountains of laundry.  I’ve seen my children exhilarated, covered in dirt from head to toe.  I’ve read a book (Little Bee, very good).  I’ve napped.  I’ve painted.  I’ve worn shorts – the kind that show my legs.  I’ve stayed up until 3 a.m. juggling conversations with a handful of men.

It’s been a very happy week!

I’m not sure about this dating business.  I’m crap at it.  I’m great at having conversations with people, and we have fun, but I’m at a bit of a loss when it comes to sorting out whether or not there’s a connection, how much of a connection there is, how to part kindly, and also how not to be offended if the man ambles off after making contact and saying he’d like to get to know me better.  Blue collar men, white collar men, older men, younger men.  I saw one man a few times over the course of a few weeks, and thought he had potential, but have since rethought that thought.  He’s an executive and has his act together, but is a bit serious or maybe controlling or possibly both.  I told him I wouldn’t see others while I was getting to know him, out of respect for the getting to know him phase, but I think I’ve gotten to know him enough to know there’s no long term magic.  And I’m conversing with others and planning to meet one or more soon.  So I’ll have to tell him.  I don’t like that part.  There’s another man who I conversed with a bit before I got together with Skills, and he’s resurfaced which I find interesting.  It’s almost like running into an old acquaintance or a long lost friend.  He’s an Irishman, and I’m a total sucker for an Irishman.  I need to be a bit vigilant there!

Sigh.  I’m learning that people are people, and the men seem to think there’s more of a connection than I do.  How does one smile and say, “Honey, you’re a fine man, and I hope you meet a fine woman, but I don’t think we’re a good fit.”  I can say that.  And I can get along with almost anybody.  But I don’t want to force any issues.  I want it to be easy, and I want to feel magic, not just, I’m nice, you’re nice, let’s try this out.

I think that I want all or nothing.  And that’s a tall order to fill.  At least the all part.  Nothing is easy as pie.

June 13th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

Oi.  To begin, I had a child free day and the sun was shining brightly.  I busted out my new air compressor, read the manual, followed the instructions, let it make terrible noise for fifteen minutes in the garage while it was doing its initial thing that is supposed to be done upon first use of a new air compressor, and scratched my head trying to figure out the attachments and fittings, as they didn’t come with instructions.  Being intuitively obvious, and all.  Don’t laugh.  I’ve never done it before.  But I figured it out and successfully inflated the tires on my bike. I didn’t follow the shut down procedure, since I decided I’d take the bike for a ride to see if the tires were still good, or if they’d need re-inflating.

It’s been probably three years since I’ve ridden, because I couldn’t ride with LB when he was a baby due to his spine problem.

I was enjoying a nice ride along a nearby trail, when the helmet started giving me trouble, so I reached up to hold it while going too fast around a bend, and biff-boom-bam, this forty five year old woman skidded very unceremoniously across the pavement.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.  My jeans protected my leg for the most part, and I actually road burned and bruised my boob, all the way through the layers of my bra and t-shirt combined.  Good grief.  Who ever road burns their boobs?

you shoulda seen the other guy...

...you should have seen the other guy...

woulda been worse without jeans

...would have been worse without jeans...

Actually, part of the leg burn is from a previous encounter with the pavement when I tripped over BB while carrying LB.  Nice.  I’ve had three glorious spills in a relatively short time, after a nearly lifetime span of no spills.  It makes me wonder…   I *am* glad that I didn’t have LB with me — I’d be horrified to crash with him aboard.  But I wouldn’t have been going fast if I had him aboard.  Even so.  I need to be much more careful.

Truth be told, I *was* a bit traumatized by the wreck.  I still haven’t actually inspected my bike to see what damage it sustained.  I was sitting on the couch, trying to regain my composure, when I heard a very loud bang from the garage.

BANG!

As I ran to the garage, my first thought was OMG, I didn’t follow the shut down procedure on my air compressor and it’s blown up!  Followed shortly by, you idiot, it couldn’t possibly have blown up, for goodness’ sake.  Followed thereafter by, WTH *was* that?  So, I confirmed that the air compressor was indeed intact.  Check.  Unplugged it.  Check.  Surveyed the garage.  Tried the garage door opener.  Aha.  Something was amiss.  It would try to open, and then give up.  I pulled the dangling cord, which it turns out is a safety/quick release thingy for manual operation, but then didn’t know what to do to re-engage it.  Bah.  Don’t laugh.  I’ve never done this before.  I got the manual out, read it, and learned how to re-engage the safety, and to run the diagnostic.  Only the diagnostic didn’t diagnose anything.  And the thing wouldn’t work.  And my car was inside.  And I was supposed to collect my kids shortly.  So I pulled the cord again and tried to lift the door.  Holy CRAP, that’s a heavy door.  And it wouldn’t catch and stay open, so it was a very hazardous door.  Bah!  I got a step ladder to prop it open, but it wasn’t tall enough for my car to clear, so I had to get my whiz bang extension ladder thingy and adjust it so that it could prop open the door, and maneuver the other ladder out while maneuvering the taller ladder in, all without hurting myself.  Mission accomplished.  Remember, I’m sporting my fresh flesh wounds, so this whole endeavor was strenuous and unpleasant.

Anyhow, after getting my car out, putting the garage door back, and consulting my friend Google, I learned that there are two torsion springs and they have a limited life span and one had just expired.  So the big bang was the spring breaking.  It felt good to have an explanation.  It calmed me down considerably.  Truth be told, though, my first impulse was to call a man.  But I could only think of Gadget and Skills while in that state of mind, and the last person in the world I want to talk to is Gadget, especially after yesterday’s fine turn of events, and seeking help from Skills would have been awkward, though he might possibly have answered had I called, and he might have even helped.  I decided to man up, get over my sexist impulse and see how far I could get on my own.  And I managed.  Afterward, I thought of at least three coworkers who I’m sure would have helped right away, had I had the presence of mind to call them.  But I managed.

So.  There it is.  I would rather not have to trouble my pretty little head with figuring things like this out, and I’d rather not get my pretty little hands all dirty and greasy and grimy, and get myself all sweaty and bruised and cut.  I’d so much rather be a girly girl!

But sometimes a girl does what a girl’s got to do.

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Posted in adventures, mundane
March 29th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

First, begin the day by saying good morning and squeezing all the people you love.  Get the children to jump on the sleeping man and wake him up.  Take an ancient opiate pill hoarded from long past surgery to ward off the headache and also to determine if any pain killing effects remain, in preparation for future events.  Fill the grownups with good strong coffee.  Feed the children waffles.  Ascertain that the ancient opiate pill was past its point of efficacy.  Drive to the country, stomp about in mud and muck, feed the ponies and the mules from your outstretched hands.  Pack the children in the mini-van and follow the biker dude as he rides his classic chopper through winding country roads.  Look mom, no hands!  Crazy man.  Happy man.  He turns heads.  Arrive home, safe, sound, intact.  Admire the one you love as he admires the ones he loves –Snow White and Black Beauty, the sports car and the chopper, adorning the driveway.  Wash muddy clothes and shoes.  Venture out to buy fishing licenses in preparation of many fun days ahead.  Goodies for the children at Dairy Queen.  Visit Home Depot to look at outdoor grills.  Buy the super deluxe whiz bang stainless steel version.   Make a big production of going to the paint section to pick up two 5-gallon paint stirring sticks to construct the paddle threatening device for misbehaving 5  year olds.  Make impressive and dramatic whacking sounds in demonstration of what’s to come, should resident 5 year olds continue to behave badly.  Pack everything in the mini-van –super deluxe grill, three children and two adults.  Return home to briefly regroup (edited to omit any child meltdowns that might possibly have taken place).  Take two of the previously determined to be ineffective opiate pills in hopes that they will work.  Reload the mini-van with four adults and three children, drop the children off with their cousins, and let the grown up activities begin.  Cheerfully overlook the dismay that the opiates were a waste of time.

20100328_54piercingplace

Visit a tattoo and piercing venue and indulge in some self-mutilation.  Nervous anticipation.  But it didn’t hurt more than a pin prick.  (Or maybe the opiates had some juice left in them after all.)

diamonds are forever

diamonds are forever

Feast on seafood.  I even had a pint of beer –Guinness stout on tap. (Pictured is a flagon of Stella.)

20100328_57feast

We devoured the whole mess!  And after, a round of Yukon Jack (a very sweet whiskey).

my own carnage

my own carnage

Collect the children.  Take note of the fuchsia nail polish adorning the 5 year old boys’ fingernails.  Motor back to home base, shuffle the children off to bed, and spend the next couple of hours chatting amongst the adults, drinking shots of espresso, tequila, or both.  Say goodbye to friends.  Collapse.  Say goodnight to the one you love.  Sleep.

~*~*~*~

Wake up at 3 a.m.  feeling wired, guilty and remorseful for having exposed one’s system to more drugs and alcohol in one day than in the past five years combined.  Load the dishwasher, to at least be a little constructive, and make mental note of gratitude at not having a spinning aching head or retching stomach, while pondering the latency of the espresso effects.  Return to bed to attempt to get some rest.

Posted in adventures, me