30 March 2011


The dark cloud over my head has passed  The air is clear and refreshing.  On to a better second half of the week!

29 March 2011


Someday, I'll get around to getting some of my more important Blogstream posts over here.  When I find the time and ambition.

Then, those of you that are new to Wish You Were Here be will fully aware of the struggle I have been engaged in over the last several months regarding positivity and negativity.  It is so, so easy to become weighed down with everything that is wrong, everything I don't like, everything that I feel is an injustice.  I'd be tempted to chalk it up to 'human nature', but what does that even mean?  It's certainly not an excuse, but one many people use to absolve themselves of any bad feelings/

I actively strive to remind myself every day of the many blessings I do have, starting with the fact that I am able to put two solid, sturdy, healthy feet on my carpeted floor every morning.  I have a job, good food, adequate shelter, healthy children, a great husband.  The impact quite hits home as I see News Article #45 about a Japanese person or family having tainted water, food, or no shelter.  Their lives have been totally and utterly rocked...

Normally, when I am displeased, it is this perspective and reflections that bring me back to Terra Firma.  If I give myself the space and time, my natural inner workings are able to internalize (somewhat efficiently) any uncomfortable scenario/situation/feeling I happen to have experienced.  But, make no mistake, it is a process that requires much conscious, constant work on my mental part.  Usually, I find comfort during these trying times in people and relationships.  Usually, but not always...

I still have many miles to go, as it turns out.  There are just some things I cannot get a rational grip on, no matter how many blessings I count and reflect upon.  Case in point, this weekend has been a draining struggle to keep my mind from going to a really bad place.  And no amount of talking/thinking or chocolate or comfort food or friends or presents or special coffee or sleep or time in the kitchen is able to help.

The universe is working as it should - I have just got to get over it.

28 March 2011

I Might Be The White Person Christian Lander Warned You About...

I am currently taking a small break from the brain-intense, data-heavy "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes and bringing my IQ back down to normal with Christian Lander's "Stuff White People Like".

The entire book is a clever, albeit formulaic, satire of "things" us white people like, do, revere, etc.  It reads much like a numbered laundry, except Lander includes several lines of commentary to further explain his point.  Many of these were obviously directed as the ridiculously wealthy or fabulously Californian/New Yorkan/Pacific Northwestern (of all three I am neither).  However, I was not left out of Lander's diatribe - check out these sweet categories I fit into:

Stuff White People (a.k.a. Heather) Like:

1. Coffee
5. Farmer's Markets
15. Yoga
24. Wine
29. 80s Night
39. Netflix
40. Apple Products
47. Liberal Arts Degrees
48. Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops
49. Vintage
54. Kitchen Gadgets
101. Scarves
108 High School English Teachers
121. Reusable Shopping Bags
131. Following Their Dreams
138. Books
145. Cheese
149. Self-Importance (i.e. blogs)

According to the self-scoring gadget at the end of the book, I am right around 18% White.  I'm not going to apologize for my whiteness (or lack thereof), thus flying right in the face of #55 (Apologies).

26 March 2011

Wisdom, Thy Name Is Irony

I often mutter this quote under my breath: "There are things you think, there are things you say, and a wise person knows the difference."  I speak it mostly when I am discussing any topic under the category Academia.

A wise person also follows his own advice, yes?  Therein lies the dilemma - easier said than done.

Quandary: When do you tell someone they've offended you, if at all?

There - now that I've typed it out, I can actually think about it.

I guess it all comes down to purpose, doesn't it?  What would be my purpose in telling the offenders I was hurt? 

To inform them?  Okay, whose good is that for?  Mine, because I want to get it off my chest?  Theirs, just so they know?

To persuade them to not do it again?  Perhaps, but what if it wasn't an intentional offense in the first place?  That complicates matters.

To be understood?  To convey emotion?  To make a connection?

Nah, I can't really come across a purpose that justifies making my disappointment known.  It would probably strain relations, cause tension - all for an issue that I could work through internally, on my own.

I must have a high-threshold for broadcasting disappointment - anyone want to weigh in on this?

22 March 2011

Two in Double Digits

As of today, I now have two (out of three) children in double digits.  Kirby turns 10 today!

She, of course, is terribly excited.  She received luggage for our trip to Alaska this summer, a cupcake maker, and a magazine devoted entirely to cupcake recipes.  She just baked her first batch of cupcakes (from a box mix).  She wants to eat them right now.  Of course.

I am struck by the awesomeness of it all.  Naturally, going from birth to a decade old, a child learns a lot about the world.  Walking, talking, eating, reading, writing, socializing - that's a lot for ten years.

I think what's equally amazing is how much I, too, have grown in the course of a decade.  I've discovered my spiritual roots, began an affair with food and nutrition, rediscovered my love of writing, become a wine and coffee lover, sorted out my professional goals and much more.

I definitely wonder what the next decade has in store for both of us.

18 March 2011

WYWH's Greatest Hits - September '06

I have mentioned already that I've joined Blogger as part of the exodus from Blogstream.  I maintained my personal blog there for four and a half years, which is, like, forever in Internet time.

I've written pieces over there that I'm pretty proud of and am unwilling to let sink into website oblivion...but, there is also something to be said for a fresh, new start.  Unloading ALL of my old posts from Blogstream here is a task I don't want to spend the energy on.  As a compromise, while I'm getting settled here, I'll sprinkle some of my "classics" in with the new stuff.

Then, hopefully, you'll feel me.

This one's from September 2006 titled "Exiting Off the Infant Highway".  I wrote it right around the time our youngest son turned two and we knew our childbirthing years had come to a close.

I have not been giving this topic too much serious thought...been too much engaged in ribbing my husband about his upcoming vasectomy (this Friday).

However, it seems to hit me today as I sit in church, watching the four-month-old son of another church patron...and it occurs to me that I am about to be finished with a certain portion of motherhood.

Most likely, I am done being pregnant and having children.

This. Is. It. My youngest just turned two, and now when I put away his outgrown clothes, I have to think about taking them somewhere. There is no point in keeping them for "the next one."

So, anyway, I'm supposed to be sad. And maybe I am.  I'm just not prepared for the finality of it. However, deep down I know we're done. We're ready to move on to that next stage. We've got so many plans and things we want to do - the kids are finally getting to the age where we feel comfortable doing those things.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. I know.

So yeah, we were days away from the big V.  Pretty serious stuff.  But now that I look back, it was the right decision - we don't regret it at all.

17 March 2011

Well, Butter My Bottom...

And Call Me A Biscuit...

SPOILER:  Major Parenting Moment Ahead
Earlier this week, my iPod was stolen right out of my minivan...or so I thought.  Okay, sit down and let me give you the update.  Prepare to be thunderstruck.

We are on Spring Break here, and I signed my three kids up for a two-hour soccer camp for the first three days.  I drop them off, watch warmups and am UTTERLY disappointed to see my eleven-year-old son WALKING in the back of the group as they were taking their laps around the field.  WALKING?!

I dunno...the lack of motivation and effort?  I was pretty ripped, and when I picked them up later, I lectured my son.

As it turns out, he was pretty mad about that.  So, to exact his revenge, he "stole" my iPod from the van.  His plan was to "keep it" for a day or so and then "return" it under the guise of pretending to be a "thief who tried to steal it but just couldn't".

What he didn't know (because he'd gone to a friend's house) is that once I discovered it missing, my husband and I contacted Apple and the police to report the theft.

Cue ominous foreboding music.

By the time Spencer came back home around dinnertime, I'd given it up for gone and moved on with my day.  Later that night, I was returning from a meeting, and I see Spencer exiting from our other vehicle...surreptitiously, sneakily.  As I get closer, I see he's got my iPod, along with a crumpled note.  The note said: "I tried to steal, but I couldn't do it.  Please keep your garage door shut."  What the...?

For a wild moment, I buy the whole scenario.  When I inform my husband of the events, things started not adding up.  Eventually, my son confesses to taking the gadget, writing the note, and attempting to plant the evidence.  Well, naturally, I am floored.  Spencer is generally a good kid, and with the exception of the typical "I didn't do it!" here and there, he is not really the duplicitous type.  Until now, I guess.

Obviously, discipline is called for in this situation, but this is a new, unique situation...one that requires thought.  Spencer is on the cusp of puberty/maturity, and he's going to be making bad decisions...it's a fact of life.  Will he really learn anything from this if I yell and storm and remove privileges?  Maybe.  That's why my first thought was of grounding or stripping the video games...but then my husband comes up with the genius idea of making our son call/visit the police tomorrow and inform them of the new developments in the stolen iPod case. 


So, we go downstairs where our son is hiding (out of embarrassment, methinks), and we calmly inform him of our disappointment in his actions.  Then we inform him of the punishment.  He accepts it, albeit rather soberly (as expected).  We didn't yell, we didn't spank, we didn't lecture...but I think the punishment fit the crime.  The police officer phoned the next day, and my husband was happy to hand the phone over to Spencer.  I would have preferred a face-to-face; I think it would have carried more impact, but still, the kid had to explain what he did and then listen to an authority figure order him to "not to it again".

So...let's have a ginormous cheer for Retributive Justice!  I do believe Spencer will examine his actions a bit closer next time.

15 March 2011

Newly Arrived

I am a refugee. Part of the mass exodus from Blogstream. More to come later.

14 March 2011

If "Worst Day Ever" Had Acceptance Speeches

We're in Heather's Pretend World today, and I will be riding on the coattails of the Oscar hoopla...total parody, of course...but not really.

First of all, the Rev. Fred Phelps would be presenting this award because he may be one person in the world that I detest.

Here goes:

Rev Fred: And in the category of "Worst Day Ever", the award goes to...March 14, 2011.

***Massive applause***

March: Oh my goodness! What an honor! Well, first, let's thank the Academy, and Satan, and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But really, I wouldn't even have this award if it were not for one person: Heather!

Because of that damned git William Shakespeare and his "Et tu, Brute?" and "Beware the Ides of March" BS, nobody cares nor remembers the 14th of March. And it's a crying shame.

However, I suspect it will be several years before Heather forgets ME...March 14th, 2011.

The day started off poorly. Heather was on a week-long Spring Break, so the odds were rather stacked against me, I daresay. But then, in the morning, her husband points out to her a survey administered by an online group. The question? "If you were the Superintendent in your school district, what would you change?" Of course, the husband tells her not to waste her time reading it, and that is where the avalanche began. Of course she read it and become promptly furious at the ignorance of the respondents.

I really could not have tapped into a better wellspring of negativity.

Heather takes all things education very personally, and this particular survey hit an especial nerve, because one of the frequent posters is a student of Heather's. While he said nothing against her personally, he committed several errors in logic and reasoning. Because she considered him to be an articulate, intelligent student, she was sorely disappointed. In fact, I overheard her saying to her husband, "I've just lost a little faith in young people today."

Not to toot my own horn, but how many days in March can brag about being able to accomplish that??

So, all of a sudden, the morning was looking pretty bright and chipper for yours truly. Then, while Heather was out running various errands, her iPod was thefted from her minivan! Does it get any more better? Then her husband (because she was too wrung out to do it! Brilliant!) was forced to spend several minutes on the phone with Apple and the police. It's utterly likely that she'll never get it back!

However, despite this truly awesome day of mine, there are dark clouds looming. Heather's naturally buoyant nature might perhaps get her through this difficult day. She'll remember the "People, Not Things" mantra from her friend and be able to relinquish her iPod. She will heed the wise words of another wise friend who reminds her to "ignore the idiots of the world".

Ultimately, my fear is that all my good works of the last 12 hours will be undone. But, I can't let that dampen my spirits, dear audience...so I will just try to ride this wonderful March 14 out the best I can!

Again, thank you! Thank you!