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Stolen from Mewsrissicat.
1. Go to Google (or Yahoo) and type, "You know you're from (your state) when...."
2. Cut and paste the list.
3. Bold the items that apply to you.
You Know You're From Vermont When )
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I have tons of writing I need to do, and even more that I want to do, and what insists on being written? This. Can't be published for reasons that should become obvious. Limits )
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OK, anyone who knows me at all should be very worried by this development.

I currently have no impassioned opinions on...anything.  Not on parenting, politics, religion, the state of culture in our society, the weather...nada.  Zip. 

I have no desire to write, read, eat, watch TV, do puzzles, or even surf the net.  I'm beginning to suspect that I'm sleep deprived.  Either that, or aliens have eaten my brain.
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Vermont to upstate New York used to be 2 1/2 hours until the Crown Point Bridge closed.  Now it's supposed to be 4 hours...but if one encounters both holiday traffic and a major bicycle race en route, it actually turns out to take 6 hours.  The rest of the way home was a comparatively modest 3 hours. 

Note to self: do not stop helpful pharmaceuticals right before a stressful intergenerational weekend involving extensive car travel...not even for stomach flu.  Or else don't travel with a stomach flu.

You know that point where yelling turns to screaming?  Yeah, well, so do my kids, now.

How many hours until I can go back to work?
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Two decades ago I wrote my Honor’s Thesis on Edna St. Vincent Millay, cyclical imagery, and despair. Millay used conventional imagery—winter, night, the tide—in such a way that she actively denied the cycle. “Oh, Autumn, Autumn—what is Spring to me?”

Twenty one years later, I still love her poetry; she is perhaps the only poet to make unrequited love dignified, and she used the traditional forms of centuries past, notably sonnets, to showcase concepts that were new and original; sonnets about Euclid, and Chaos, taxes and irony. Now, however, from the grand age of 43, her frequent use of despair gets a very different reaction from me.

Grief, as RJ Anderson wrote in her excellent LJ blog some months ago, is not a sin—but I would argue that Despair, the renunciation of Hope and the future, is a purely selfish emotion. In Despair, we renounce not just the next phase of our own cycle, but also our responsibilities, our affections, our own strength. We deny every lesson we have ever learned, every gift we have ever received. It is a peculiarly adolescent emotion, completely forgivable in the young. Aren’t all young creatures selfish?

Perhaps unfairly, I cannot forgive that level of selfishness in a parent. Crawling across broken glass, at least figuratively, is part of the job description of parenthood. We may cry our eyes dry in the night, and meet the morning raging or despondent, but we still must get up, feed the children, live the hundred thousand small obligations of our lives, and believe, for the sake of the lives in our care, that Spring will come. Grief we may, and often should, embrace. Despair, however, is irrelevant.


May. 27th, 2010 10:24 pm
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I haven't been on LJ...um...at all for 3 weeks. I will never catch up on everything I missed. That doesn't mean I don't love you all, but please bear with me if my cluelessness is worse than usual.

My reading addiction, generally well controlled for the past few years, has gotten quite out of hand. Why can't I develop an exercise addiction?! No, it's 3-4 books a week, all taken from computer, house work and sleep hours.

Leah's school play, Roger and Hammerstein's _Cinderella_, was wonderful, and she did her solo line beautifully. The kid can dance in high heels. I can't even walk in high heels! It was VERY frightening, however, to see her made up for the ball scene; in a long dress, with her hair up, and holding flowers...she did not look 11. Of course, Cinderella and the Godmother, both 8th graders, looked well over 18. My baby!!!!

Going up to Vermont this weekend to see my folks, LARP the following weekend, table top gaming the one after that. Naps do not appear likely for the near future....
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OK, I'm back. Sorry to be gone for so long. The annoyingly chipper, morning person, believes in a positive future and her own strength optimist? Here and accounted for.

This doesn't mean that I won't have bad hours and bad days, but MAN is it nice to feel like I fit into my own skin again. It's so nice to have the positive outlook once again my default mode. A friend said I seemed "empowered" today. What do I need to be happy? Only my children's safety and well being, and oxygen. Water, food and shelter a plus.

"Nothing is different...yet everything's changed."--Chess
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I love the internet. I'd been thinking of a couple of books I'd read in grade school in the '70's, old scholastic editions from the 50's and 60's. I remembered the plots, and tons of details, but no title or author...then I remembered that one had been called "A Nickle for [Girl's Name]" before it was retitled something else by the edition I read when the cost of a phone call went up to a dime.

So, I typed in "A Nickle for" and then managed to come up with the name...Alice. And found the author and titles.

Both _Runaway Alice_ and the peripheral sequel, _Ready Made Family_, deal with foster care and adoption...fairly taboo subjects in the 50's. They are--at least in my memory--nearly perfect books, with real emotions and vivid characters. I still remember the dress made out of feedbags, and the teacher who helped a child finally learn 7 x 8 by revealing that her own age was 56.

So, did anybody else read these while growing up?
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I'm working on little changes, but in a variety of areas. Weight Watchers. Putting ritual and routine into my life--even if it's just that Thursday is the day for Pizza and Grammy's shower. Conciously letting go of anger.

Interestingly, it's having rather similar results to my Lenten experiment last Spring. Things are changing now without my effort. Change...looks good.
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To my immense disgust, I find that I am not twenty-five anymore. After 9 days on Prednisone 60mg and 3 on 40mg, I had to go back up to 60mg and start a second antibiotic. At this point, after two weeks of treatment, I OUGHT to be running marathons. Or at least able to walk briskly for 100 yards. As it is, I am fully functional for daily activities (if you count sitting down to fold laundry and resting after making a bed), but I still have the constant, rather unpleasant sensation of trying to breath through the insistent spray of a vigorous waterslide.

On the positive side, I have stuck to Weight Watchers for an entire week, have lost 2.5 lbs despite the inevitable effects of the Prednisone, and have 25 bonus points saved up for the Prophecy Winter Feast today. Sadly, I will not be able to spar even lightly, but it will still be fun. And I can watch the girls hacking at adults with their new boffer swords. :)
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I love the duo of Fiske and Herrera, a pair of acoustic musicians who perform in the area. Jared Fiske has a voice like 10 year old scotch, while Amy Herrera has such depth to her voice that the sweetness always comes as a surprise. Their earlier album, "Just Breathe", has songs that hit on a level beyond words; my favorite, "The Violin" is available at Lala.com, and I'd encourage you to have a listen.

"Across the River" is better.

The title track is a haunting song from the perspective of Charon, the Ferryman, imagined as an ordinary man with an extraordinary profession, passing down the burden to his son. "You can carry the scythe when I'm gone," the refrain promises, bittersweet and loving.

"Mediocre Man" is a surprise, a love song, oddly optomistic. This optomism is reflected through the majority of the songs, although never easily, never tritely. The world they portray is flawed, often painful, yet profound and beautiful. Even in "Wood Castles", a song of children and childhood, there is some darkness, and even in "She's Moving Tomorrow", the darkest of the songs, there is some light.

My favorite, just edging out "Across the River", is "Orange Stand Island", a song of an immigrant man working to bring his wife and the son he's never met to the United States. It is unsentimental, sometimes harsh, and yet profoundly hopeful.

If you want to listen to something new...try this. I don't think you'll be sorry.
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I've been thinking a lot about the only child from my practice I've ever lost. He was a healthy, sturdy, breast-fed 13 month old who I'd seen a few weeks earlier. After 11 years, I still remember the heft of him in my arms the last time I saw him, for his one year check-up, a few weeks before he died.

I was in room 3 in our ER with pneumonia, 6 months pregnant with Leah, hooked up to an IV and O2, when the triage nurse rushed him into Trauma 2 and called a doctor stat. I tried to get up, and my doctor, who was seeing me at the time, waved me down and ran off and took over. They did everything right, and by the time I was wheeled by his room on my way upstairs, he was being life-flighted to the city. Despite strict orders from my doctor to the contrary, someone slipped to me that evening that he'd died. Overwhelming septic shock from strep pneumo. He'd been ill less than 12 hours when he died.

A vaccine was developed against strep pneumo a couple of years later. I never use new vaccines, new drugs when they first come out. I made an exception for this one.

Monday I was back in the same ER, back in room 3, back on an IV and O2 for the first time in 11 years. If he had lived, he'd be twelve now, in sixth grade, a year above Leah.
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Only four days until VACATION!!!!!!

Sadly, Charles will be staying home with his Mom, but the girls and I (and the only childless set of godparents they've got) will be going to Sunny Orlando, FL, to ride rides and escape the New England cold. Then a three day Disney Cruise. It's medically necessary; studies show that 4 hours of sunshine significantly nearer to the equator daily for four or more days resets the body's clock re: Seasonal Affective Disorder. ;) That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :)

Ordinarily, I'd be packed by now, but still recovering from NaNoWriMo!


Nov. 28th, 2009 12:00 am
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NaNoWriMo is over for me. My rough draft is finished, the 50K mark is exceeded, and I can now return to real life...if I can remember what that is.

I have not read a book in 27 days. That alone is staggering....

But...EEEEEEE!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!
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I am thankful for my life, and the parents who raised me.
I am thankful for family, with all its twining and perplexing roots and branches.
I am thankful for my freedom, and the many who have defended it.
I am thankful for the blessing of education, and the choices it has given me.
I am thankful for love, and the growth it brings even in times of pain.
I am thankful for my friends, in good times and in bad.
I am thankful for my children, who make everything possible and despair irrelevent.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Does it make me a negative person that i am counting down instead of up? Or just very goal oriented?
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At this point, the number of words left to write for NaNoWriMo are fewer than the words already written. Not much (24,692 to be precise), but from this point I can, if I wish, count down instead of up.

Having achieved that much...I'm going to bed.
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For the first year we had fish, I took care of them perfectly. I changed their water, vaccuumed the gravel, washed the plants every week. Lately, I have been much less good. I have gone two weeks, perhaps a little longer at times, between water changes. The numbers of baby guppies and platies stayed stable (at too many), and the fish remained healthy. Friday, I discovered the other consequence of my neglect.

I hadn't counted our Cory Cats in a while, so while cleaning the fishtank I looked for them. One, two, three, four--all still fine--and then, near them, a little one a third of their size.

We have successfully bred Corydoras in a community tank. More remarkable, given that they're egg layers....
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I was doing great for NaNoWriMo. Going into day 9, I was three days ahead of schedule. Then, on Day 9, came Migraine, which, on day 10, morphed into body aches and chills, and on day 11 progressed to actual, stay-home-from-work illness. I have written just over a 1000 words over those three days.

Tonight, after two naps totalling about seven hours, I am coherent, afebrile, and at about 80% of "normal". After belatedly resuming some responsibility for family and home, I have gotten the kids to bed, set crock pots heating for Veggie Bean Stew (vegan for Prophecy, meat added for home version per husband's pleas), washed the bowls and spoons for Prophecy,changed the water in the fish tanks, obsessed over the weather forecast, and found nearly everything I need for tomorrow nights LARP. Now I need to memorize 12 incantations, and go to bed. I don't think more writing is in the cards for the next two days.

I wonder how badly green face paint will run in the rain....
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Last night, as I tried desperately to settle down and write my 1,667 words for the day, Leah got up to tell me something. Two minutes after I returned to computer, Joy got up and had to go to the bathroom. Five minutes later, Joy began shrieking at the top of her lungs because she believed she hadn't had a last hug and kiss. Two minutes after that was settled, Mother In Law came out and needed help with her meds.

Charles is away for the weekend.

I am very, very proud of myself that I still managed to sit down and write...eventually. My creative Lent continues; this is day 7 with no leisure reading (though, technically, one of Geoff's posts turned out to be fiction, so that's a slight bobble.) In addition to freeing up time, it also makes me desperate for text...even if I'm writing it myself.
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