Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity...
– Vaclav Havel

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. Today will be even worse. Today is the day I tell my kids that the life they know is over. Please give me strength.

Friday, December 02, 2011


Today I had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to Miro.

Miro you will always be a part of our family. I'll always remember how you smelled like a cross between campfire smoke and the deep woods, and how you always knew when I was pregnant even before I did.

I'm honored that you chose me to be your owner for the last 13 years. I'll miss you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What are you grateful for?

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday, for many reasons that I won't get into here, followed closely by Christmas. I don't look forward to it, and I especially wasn't this year because holidays have a way of amplifying any issues that are going on within a family.

The day was unexpected. The day turned out ok.

We got to spend the day with a sweet little chihuahua named Frankie. He's our neighbors escape artist dog who we find in our yard at least a couple of times a month. His owners still haven't picked him up so it looks like he'll be staying the night.

This morning Sophie snuck out and killed a bird. It was a little male chickadee. We buried him in the backyard. Most of us (maybe all of us) don't appreciate what we have until it is taken from us. Death has a way of changing my perspective instantly.

Lately I've been caught up in the dangerous and dark side of self-reflection. It's time to break that with gratitude so here goes...

I am grateful for being able to sleep in this morning and waking up on my own.

I am grateful for a day of peace after 6 weeks of fighting.

I am grateful for two miraculous souls named Zoe and Paige, and the light and wisdom they bring into my life.

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach my kids about life and death.

I am grateful for knowing what it's like to fall madly in love, even if it didn't have a fairy tale ending.

I am grateful for the wonderful and amazing people who will always be a part of my life and seem to move in and out of it with perfect timing.

I am grateful for great friends whose friendship cannot be weakened by time or distance.

I am grateful that I've found long lost hope.

I am grateful that I learned to cook and that it's so easy to be a vegetarian in this moment in history. (And dairy-free pumpkin pie, yum)

I am grateful that in this moment, without looking back at the deep sadness of the last many days, and without the fear that comes with the unknowns that are about to happen, everything is alright.

I am grateful for music, art, and dreams that are with me at every step lighting my path.

I am grateful for being human. For the ability to FEEL even if that means pain.

I am grateful that there are people who I haven't met who will change my life and I will change theirs in return.

I am grateful for knowing what I want.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Dear Universe: That's really funny. I get it. No more jokes for now, ok?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I'm in a state of transition. Flux. Fuck.

One moment I feel strong, confident. The next I'm full of guilt, hopelessness, fear. Then anger. Then hurt. It cycles too quickly. I can't get grounded. Is it even possible to move forward when you're spinning?

And how is it possible that no matter what I'm feeling there is a song that captures that emotion perfectly? Maybe I'm just lucky that way. Radiohead has been my constant companion for the last few weeks. This weekend I discovered an album by them that I had never heard, because I don't keep up with music, and there's a song that hits right to the nerve. Lyrics. Everything.

I'm on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/logosknitter/ - working through my shit through photography. I'm raw, so please be kind if you choose to comment.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I'm a dork

Yesterday I answer the door. It's a neighbor looking for his dog. He doesn't make eye contact and seems to be in a hurry. I walk back inside look in the mirror. It seems that I forgot that Zoe had made me into a fairy elf just a few hours before. Yep. I'm a dork :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cleanse Days 9-15

Life has a way of turning you on your head when you least expect it. That just happened to take place at the end of the cleanse.

Days 9-11 were very good days. I wasn't hungry all the time. On day 10 I started phase 2 which included one grain dish per day. I moved on to phase 3, which includes proteins, on day 13 or 14.

Unexpectedly, I found that after day 9 I witnessed a huge shift within myself. I needed to speak and live truthfully.

Normally I consider myself a truthful person, but if someone causally asks me how I'm doing I don't always come out with the whole truth. Most of the time they really don't want to know anyway, they are just making conversation. My standard answer to "how are you doing" is "good". Well on day 9 that changed. Truth starting spilling out and it didn't stop. I made a BIG fucking mess. Even 2 weeks later it's still a big fucking mess.
But it's been a long time coming. At least it's all out there in the open. There is a lightness that comes with speaking the truth.

This cleanse was WAY more than I had anticipated on so many levels. Decisions need to be made, and will be in the coming week.

"With every mistake we must surely be learning" - right?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cleanse Days 7 and 8

Day 7 was by far my worst day so far. I felt like shit. Exhausted, hungry, dizzy, angry. After talking with someone who has been cleansing many times a year for many years I figured out a few things. 1. I need to be eating MORE food, especially vegetables. 2. I wasn't taking any cleansing herbs because I thought that it would be easier on my system but that it was backfiring because the toxins where hanging around in my body longer. 3. I might need to move the next part of the cleanse before next Sunday depending on how things go.

I ate a handful of cashews and that helped with the irritability. In addition to eating more food I've started drinking the dandelion root tincture 3-4 x per day. I think I've eaten my weight in guacamole over the last two days.

Day 8 I felt the best that I have since I started. Although I feel low on energy the other detox symtoms have gone away. Last night I made an amazing Sweet Potato and Kale soup from the book If the Buddha Came to Dinner. It was amazing!

Oh, and I found the damn tape measure. I fell like I've already lost the inches that are going to come off but it will be interesting to see if there's any change at the end.
Bust: 32
Waist: 28
Hip: 36

An interesting side note is that the past 3 nights I've dreamt. Vivid dreams. It's been a long time since that's happened. Maybe even before I had kids.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Cleanse Day 6

Strange thing happened this morning. I woke up early with hives on my head. That's usually the first sign that I've eaten something that contains dairy. There's no way I've had any dairy. I can only guess that my body was reacting to the veggie broth, but it seems so unlikely that I could be allergic to any of those vegetables. I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Hurray for food! This morning I started out with the Master Cleanse lemonade for breakfast. I was concerned that my stomach might not handle food so well after 5 days on a liquid diet. But all is well. Today I enjoyed:
veggie broth from last night
kale chips
carrots with guacamole!!

For dinner I overdid it a bit with a baked potato with garlic, onions and guacamole. I ate it too fast. I've been so hungry.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cleanse Day 5

Today was another difficult day. I was tired, very hungry, and cranky for most of the day. Emotionally this has been the toughest day yet. I've been feeling very insecure and unsure of myself. Somethings just not right, so tonight I decided that I would move on to phase 2 now instead of sticking it out until Thursday. I've gained what I wanted from a liquid diet. I'm excited about cooking and eating again. I was feeling burnt out before I started.

Phase 2 lasts about a week. I'll be eating only fruits and veggies as well as taking some herbs that detox the liver, kidneys, etc.

Since I've been on a liquid diet for 5 days I can't go right into eating food again without a transition. Tonight I made a vegetable broth from kale, celery, radish greens (maybe turnip greens, I can't ever remember which is which), bok choy, and parsley from my garden. I was worried that it might taste bitter but I must say that it was very delicious. It makes me wonder why I've never drank veggie broth before as a drink. I'm starting to think of it as vegetable tea.

Tomorrow I want to start eating real food, like food that you chew(!), but I'll have to see how it goes. One of the main focuses during this phase is to pay attention to how my body reacts to each food.

That's all for now.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Cleanse Days 3 and 4

Yesterday (day 3) was rough. I felt nauseous most of the day, but realized by night that I could curb it by drinking more water. Still felt hungry.

Today I was tired but most likely because I woke up for 3 + hours last night and couldn't fall back asleep. It was also a day of great temptation. Having to constantly prepare, touch and clean up food is driving me crazy! I also took the girls to Chuy's for lunch. What was I thinking?! I would kill for those beans and rice right now. But I resisted. I made the mistake of saying that I was feeling hungry out loud and Zoe kept trying to feed me all afternoon.

Right now I don't feel like I can make it another 6 days before eating again. I'm soooo hungry!! The last time I was only hungry for the first day and then it was gone. Arg!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Cleanse Day 2

Today I started feeling the effects of the toxins that are being released into my system. Bhalllllll. I feel tired, cranky, hungry. Not terribly, but I feel like I'm in the beginning stages of getting a cold. Feeding my kids has been a challenge. I realize that through out the day I eat bites of their food. I feel like there is food everywhere.

Today I find some organic lemons! They taste better than the limes to me.

On to day 3...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cleanse Day 1

So excited to finally start my cleanse today! My plan was to start last Friday but my stomach has been feeling off so I held out until today. I'm starting with the Master Cleanse for 10 days followed by a 3 week food cleanse outlined in the book If the Buddha Came to Dinner. If all goes as planned I'll break this 31 day cleanse on Nov 4th which just happens to be the same day I'm fly into NYC for a 3 day vacation BY MYSELF!

So far so good. I ate a breakfast taco this morning since I couldn't find any organic lemons last night. Then I made the cleanse drink with limes from about noon on.

Today I've felt hungry. Not cravings, just hungry (a salad would have hit the spot), but nothing major.

Physically I'm feeling a bit run down and tired.

I can't find my measuring tape, but when I do I'm going to post my measurements to see how much I lose during the coming weeks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Follow your bliss

Moyers: Do you ever have this sense when you are following your bliss, as I have at moments, of being helped by hidden hands?

Campbell: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time -- namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

-- Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyors, The Power of Myth
I've applied to graduate school to study acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. I have an admissions interview in a couple of weeks. If I am accepted I'll start school in January.

It's hard for me to see how I'm going to be able to go to school full time for the next 4 years, continue working part time, continue being a mom full time, and all of the other things that go along with life. But acupuncture is the best job in the world, and I whole hearty feel that this is what I'm meant to do. So I'll have faith that somehow everything will work out while I follow my bliss.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sisterly conversation

Zoe is telling me a knock knock joke and Paige keeps interrupting with "Knock! Knock!" and Zoe says:
Paige take a zipper and zip your mouth closed. Lock it. No, lock it with 45 locks and put the key in your pocket. And don't talk through your nose.
I'll take that any day over a "shut up".

Monday, August 22, 2011


The fundamental difference between the liberal and the illiberal outlook is that the former regards all questions as open to discussion and all opinions as open to a greater or lesser measure of doubt, while the latter holds in advance that certain opinions are absolutely unquestionable, and that no argument against them must be allowed be heard.

What is curious about this position is the belief that if impartial investigation were permitted it would lead men to the wrong conclusion, and that ignorance is, therfore, the only safeguard against terror. This point of view cannot be accepted by any man who wishes reason rather than prejudice to govern human action.

Bertrand Russell

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Monkey Poopoo

Really what is it about poop that is so fascinating to kids? Paige likes to talk about all the animals that poop. It goes something like this:

Doggie poopoo! Hahahahahah! Squirrel poopoo! Hahahahahah! MONKEY poopoo! HAHAHAHAHA!

Last night as I'm putting Paige to bed she tells me that see needs to tell Sophie (our cat) goodnight. She walks over to her and says "MONKEY POOPOO!" and laughs hysterically to herself all the way back to bed.

I love my life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


After explaining to Zoe that the phrase "love conquers all" means that there's nothing stronger than love, she replies:

"I'm full of love.
Paige is full of love, too.
I think kids have more love than grownups"

Friday, April 22, 2011


Last weekend the family and I were in Dallas visiting friends and family. We celebrated my aunt's 60th birthday and our friend Miles' 1st birthday. We also got to see my Dad's new house in the country. It was an event packed 4 days and by Sunday morning we were all ready to come home and relax.

We got back to Austin around 4p and hit some really bad traffic once we got in to Oak Hill a couple of miles before our house. We sat and sat and sat as police cars zoomed past us. I figured there was an accident up ahead. Then we got closer to the "Y" and saw all of the smoke. It looked like a bad fire but we didn't think much of it. We also notice the helicopters. Lots of them.

We turned on to the residential street that leads into our neighborhood and there was a police car blocking the road that we turn on to get to our house. At this point I'm trying not to jump to conclusions. We go the long way to our house and when we get to the point to turn on to our street there's another police car blocking the road. I got out of the car and ask the police if we can go through to our house. A very angry police officer yells at me that there is a fire that I can not go to my house, I can not get my cats, and to get out of the road because I'm blocking traffic.

We pull the car to the side of the road on Scenic Brook and I start talking to others who are waiting to see whats going on. A few people told me that the fire was on streets that are all north of our house. I figure we're ok. However at this point there are Air Force planes dropping red powder from the sky.

Skip decides that he's going to sneak up the creek that runs parallel to the road just south of our house and see if he can get the cats out before the fire moves south.

The girls are restless sitting in the car so we go out to talk to people and say hi to all their pets. It was nice to talk with so many neighbors that I hadn't meet before, but talking with them I find out that the fire isn't where we thought it was. It had started in the large greenbelt that's about 200 ft south of our house. The entire greenbelt was on fire and it was moving north.

At this point I am mentally freaking out because Skip is going directly into the fire. I look at my phone to see if he's called and I see that I have 5 new messages. One was from our friend and neighbor who lives 2 houses down saying that she's been putting out fires on her lawn for an hour before she had to leave. The next was from my neighbor up the cul-de-sac saying that she was putting out fires in OUR lawn and that the police made them leave and she left our water hose on. Another couple of messages are from friends checking to make sure I've evacuated the house and that we're safe. These calls were from 3 or 4 hours ago. At this point I'm pretty convinced that our house is gone.

I call Skip and it rings and rings and rings and goes to voicemail. I try again in 10 mins. Same thing. Now I'm thinking that Skip isn't coming back. I'm trying not to freak out as Zoe keeps asking me over and over why we can't go home.

Over an hour goes by of me and the girls watching the helicopters drop water, and airplanes dropping fire retardant, and talking with neighbors before Skip comes walking back. He said that it got too hot and he could feel ash on his face so he turned back. Holy shit!!! As an interesting side note, he wasn't the only one to get the idea of walking down the creek. He made some "creek buddies" while on his walk and one of them gave us a ride to our car later that night.

Waiting and more waiting. And the girls are going nuts. We keep hearing reports that the fire is 80% contained, 90% contained, 95% contained, but they weren't letting us through to our house.

Finally at around 8p they let us walk through the police barricade (they didn't want cars driving over the water hoses). Skip went ahead to go check on the cats and the house. At this point the girls had have it. They were in the car all day, waiting for hours in the street, and hadn't eaten dinner. Paige was at the end of her rope and was refusing to walk on the side of the street (firetrucks and emergency vehicles are still zooming around). I don't even know how long it took to walk that quarter mile. While we were walking Skip called to tell us that our house was still standing and that the cats were alright.

When we got to the house there were 4 or 5 firetrucks parked directly in front of our house, and many of the firefighters were resting on our stone wall. As we walk up they ask if this is our house. They tell me that we were seconds from losing it. Our next door neighbor's wood pile caught fire, which is about 6 inches from our fence. They said that they barely put it out in time. Then said neighbor walks by and says that he put out a fire in our trash can that's right up next to the house.

When we walk inside the house is full of smoke and the power is out. It's hard to see. Zoe starts freaking out. It takes us a couple of minutes to catch Sophie and put her in the carrier, and while Skip and I are busy with that Paige keeps letting Miro out of her carrier. Somehow we make it out of the house and that's when I notice out neighbors house across the driveway is completely gone. You can see in one side and out the other. We were talking with her while we were waiting. She was the only person who said what everyone else was thinking, "I hope my house is still there."

We were told that the fire wasn't 100% contained and that no one was allowed to stay over night, not that we would have with all that smoke and no power. Our good friend hooked us up with a place to stay that night.

The next day we come to check on the house. It looks just fine. The only problem is the smell is something awful. We had the inside tested for ash and luckily they didn't find any. They told us to run the A/C continually and change the air filters out every day until the smell is gone.

The firefighters knocked down part of the fence to get into the backyard. It was surprisingly easy to fix. Only one of the boards broke.

There are some burnt spots on our lawn next to the driveway, by our trashcans up by the house, and in our front garden bed by the main street. All of the branches of the oak tree that extend into our neighbors backyard were burnt. Other than that you can't tell that there was a massive fire here less than a week ago.

I found out that our neighbor up the cul-du-sac, the one who put out fires on my lawn, and who has a 2 year old and a 3 month old, completely lost their house. Nothing left except for the stone wall in the front of the house and part of the metal roof.

The firefighters did an amazing job. All of the houses could have been lost instead of just 21.

Our camera broke right before Paige's birthday at the beginning of the month. Can you believe it? Of all the times to not have a camera!

I'm still processing all of this. I've spent most of my emotional energy helping the girls work through this that I'm just not starting to sit with the feelings for myself.

Our house is in the middle of the damage. It went around us. It feels really strange to be getting back to normal when there are so many neighbors who don't have a house anymore.

Zoe was hit the hardest. She is terrified that the fire is going to come back. It doesn't help that every time we walk outside it smells like we're walking into a giant fireplace or that 6 days later there are still helicopters circling above the house. But the worst reminder is the house across the driveway that's just sitting there crumbling. The woman who lived there doesn't have homeowners insurance. There's no telling how long it's going to be before that house is torn down and it might not be rebuilt.

Skip was laid off at the end of March and when that happened I decided that my new personal motto was going to be "Appreciate all that I have". Well, this fire really reinforced that. I have so much. It's inspired me to purge through all the crap in the house to get down to things that are really important.

This post seems unfinished, but that's all I've got right now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun
– Napoleon Hill

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Zoe and I were laying down. I had my arm around her and I smelled her hair.

Me: You smell like chocolate cake.
Zoe sniffing my armpit: You smell like stinky toes.