Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Twas the Night Before

... And the presents were nestled all under the tree
whilst children slept lightly waiting to see
So lift up a glass and we'll toast to Yule cheer
We don't have to be close for our hearts to be near.
Happy Holidays Everyone

Monday, December 24, 2007


Someone posed an interesting question today on a board I frequent. Basically bringing up the commandments "Thou shalt not kill" and lying and looking for peoples opinions. You see her husband is a soldier and they were discussing whether God would consider killing to save others or killing in self defense to still be breaking that commandment. OR would god be upset that he lied if telling the truth would cause thousands to die. She wanted opinions on whether or not we thought that God would ever be 'ok' with someone breaking a commandment.
I don't think she wants my opinion.
Honestly, I'm sorry, but there is no room for interpretation here. If you follow this religion then the commandment clearly states "Thou Shalt Not Kill"; not "thou shalt not kill...UNLESS". These laws (or commandments) were not in the least ambiguous. You cannot change this...lol...it's 'set in stone'...literally. The thing is that if you choose to break a commandment then you need to work out the ramifications of that with your god. It's a personal thing. You need to make your own peace with it and no one else can do it for you.
It seems to me sometimes that people want someone else to tell them that "it's ok" and pat them on the head. A super-mommy figure to take the responsibility away from them.
Well...life doesn't work that way.
We are each responsible for the choices that we make and all the ramifications of those choices...ignorance and justifications aside...it's still our actions and our responsibility. To throw another analogy in there; no one can 'lift the cross' of accountability from your shoulders.
Think of what a wonderful world it would be if everyone sat back and realized that it doesn't MATTER what your orders are...it doesn't COUNT that someone else said "it's ok"...that NONE of that absolves you from the full 100% accountability for all the consequenses of the actions you choose to take. Ignorance doesn't absolve responsibility.
My choice = my action = my responsibility. Live with it or make a different choice, but don't ever think that someone else can take that burden from you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Sometimes I wonder if people really think about WHY we give gifts. Especially at this time of year. There was a post on one board I frequent where someone wanted to know what to get for 2 people coming to her house. Apparently she "doesn't like" the things they are interested in and didn't want to get a gift card for them because they would buy "nonsense".
Since when did shopping for someone become more about the giver than the recipient?
Since when did choosing a gift bestow upon one the right to be judgemental about another's likes?
I always thought that the point of giving a gift was to make someone ELSE happy. Of course you get something out of it too...you get that wonderful feeling of seeing their face light up because you found something perfect for them.
When did 'obligation' giving or 'one-up-manship' giving become the norm? Giving to look like the better person.
If that is your only reason to shop for this person then, in my opinion, don't bother! You have lost the purpose...the definition of "gift".
I try to teach my children to give from the heart. To take this opportunity to put another's likes and wants before their own and to really see how well they know the person. It's not about the cost of the gift but the thought behind it. THAT is the weight by which a gift should be measured.
Now I don't mean the trite 'it's the thought that counts' excuse for picking whatever. I mean that it's the amount of thought that goes into picking something "just right" for that person.
Thoughtful giving.
Thinking of others.
Letting go of our ego and our need to be better or nicer.
Taking 'ourselves' out of the equation and truely thinking about others.
We gain so much more when we GIFT of our time and hearts and thoughts.
The true purpose of the season...at least for me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Arietta has her first loose tooth. My baby girl is growing up (sniff).
She is soooo excited :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Sometimes in the midst of life I come up with a rare gem. Some word of wisdom offered up to another in the moment that is something I would do well to remember for myself. Going to try find some of those gifts of insight in my back communications and centralize them here. This entry will be in flux for a while as I add things...feel free to skip/skim/or revisit.

You create who you are by your own self image; love yourself enough to create someone beautiful.
Those who live in toddler houses shouldn't have glass balls
Make others treat you with the respect you deserve.
You are drawn to teach what you need to learn...and are usually good at it.
Don't dimish the complement. Accept it, and know that it is true.
The best thing you can do for yourself is learn to accept complements without quantifying them
Don't let anyone put you down by not allowing you to validate yourself
Those who love you raise you to greater heights...that is the point of loving someone
If you see yourself as attractive then you become attractive no matter your body type...a lot of being attractive is attitude.
Crying is good in measured doses. It washes the windows of the soul so you can see clearly again.

Words and Signs

Ok I am trying to compile a list of all the words and signs that Rowan knows right at this moment:


Dada or DAD
Joo-e-en or JOOD (Julian)
Ah-eh-ah (Arietta)
O-an (Rowan)
Muck (milk or any liquid in a cup)
Out (with his own sign)
noonul (noodle)
Taaaah oo (Thank you...with sign)
ssp ssp ssp ( kitty)
arararar (Honopu - 0ur dog)
No No No (of course)
fish (with sign)
book (with sign)
sleep (with sign)
dat (that)
ow (signs 'hurt')
brooon (balloon)
behBE (baby)
Duh (duck)
boo (like peek a boo)
bobble (bottle)


change (as in diaper)
rain (sometimes)

O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

We got our TREEeee!!!
I am so excited...can you tell? LOL
Its just not the Holidays until I get the smell of a real pine tree in my house.
We got a 6/7 ft Noble Pine and it is soooo pretty. Now all I want to do is get some cider cooking and carols playing and DECORATE. Of course it's like 11:30 at night and I have no cider to mull and can't play carols with the kids asleep...but...
It's the thought.
I think tomorrow I'll put some chai on the stove and christmas songs on the radio and straighten up and decorate. Trim my tree with lights and ornaments and enjoy the sights and smells that mean "holiday season" to me.
O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree
How lovely are thy Branches.


Bit of a mommy goof. Um. I went to log the 2 new teeth that Rowan has (he's been teething and cut a molar on the 2nd and an eye tooth last night).
When I went to record it all in the baby book I realized that I never recorded when tooth number 8 broke through.
Good thing I post on my mommy board...lol.
Was able to track down a post I made about it.
September 3rd.
geeez who knew the 3rd child would mean my brain stopped working.

Advice to Remember

I think I have high expectations of my children and high expectations of myself as a parent...sometimes too high. Sometimes I have to step back and realize that I have to parent as WHO I AM and not as who someone else is. I'll be the best for my kids if I am the truest to myself. I may not have a house that is in order and picture perfect all the time (or ever! lol) I may not be able to do the marvelous recipes, or be crafty and creative, or take my kids on outings all the time, or organize our time so we do alphabets and learning etc etc. I see another parent do that and sometimes I think that my kids would be better off "if only I could..." What I try to keep reminding myself of is the fact that no one can do everything or be everything and I need to be happy with who I am and how *I* relate to them. WHen I am in that space and can forgive myself and let go of the need to be "perfect" then I am happier and the behavior doesn't seem like an attack...I'm better able to handle it b/c *I* am not disappointed in myself and therefor I don't think my kids are disappointed in me. It's REALLY REALLY HARD and I'm no where near there all the time but I am doing better.


I turned to look in my lower livingroom and saw this:

Cats will cuddle anything with a lap.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Growing up.

My little one is getting so big now. He wants to do everything all on his own. The other week he ran himself a bath. Seriously. I told him 'just a minute' and then was startled to hear water running in the bathroom. Apparently he climbed into the tub with the bubble bath, put the plug in the drain, and turned on the cold water (cold water tap is loose...hot is NOT). When I got there he was holding the bubble container under the running water trying to figure out why there were no bubbles.
The other day he put on an oven mitt and stood at the stove door saying "help?"
His vocabulary is expanding too. I love the word explosion. It is my favorite time :)
Can we slow it all down though...it's going too fast.


I am turning into my grandmother. Seriously. Ok, not COMPLETELY seriously but you know. I'm finding that when I keep my house in order my inner "gram" comes out. This is not necessarily a 'bad' thing either. My gram raised me because my mom worked full time and she was a pretty wonderful lady, lemme tell ya. I was awfully lucky to have that in my life. She instilled in me a love of learning that nothing could take away. Even during my 'I don't care' years of school I STILL learned all on my own about things that interested me. Learning HOW to learn is a pretty amazing gift.
I digress. What I mean by 'turning into my gram' is I am suddenly, out of the blue, baking. Cooking. Me. Not from a box either. I've roasted chicken and turkey; made homemade pie crust. This past weekend I baked gingerbread cookies...from scratch. Today I made homemade macaroni and cheese...with a roux even (not that I know what a 'roux' IS...but I made one). I have all my Christmas cards done. Handwritten using calligraphy even. I'm climbing on ladders putting up decorations. I'm BAKING (yes I know I said that but it's a biggie)
The neat thing about all this is that I am really having fun doing it. I quite enjoy doing special 'homey' things for the kiddos. All this purging and releasing of "stuff" is making me a better parent, I think. It's definitely a step in the right direction...now I need to work on that "one foot in front of the other" thing and I'll be golden :D

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


All of the cleaning and sorting and whatnot has kicked up a huge amount of dust and now I have a sore throat. Ow. sniff.
I'm having a Hot Toddy of lemon honey and brandy in hot water. Yum. Honey-Lemon Throat drop with a 'kick'.
Now let the baby fall asleep so I can go to bed!

Emerging from Chaos


We finally closed the Hanalei Payroll office and now have the business running out of our house. This has been a long time coming and I'm glad it's finally here. Paying two rents out here when things have gotten SOOoooo expensive just isn't feasible. So. Ok. The office closed this past weekend. This is good.

What is not good is that I now have all the contents of said office IN MY HOUSE. It would be one thing if it was all organized and necessary. Sadly though we inherited the office from the pack-rat recycler. Mark threw out a gazillion bags of garbage and we STILL had an insane amount show up.

Now mind you, my house was in chaos to begin with. I had just gotten a handle on laundry and my bedroom when this all walked through the door Fri and Sat. Sigh. To top it all off Mark separated a rib on Sat throwing the old copier away so that kinda limits how helpful he can be.

Well I am proud to announce that I have gotten a handle on the chaos and have done some major purging at the same time. I went through my books and thinned out a good 3 boxes worth. We went through old VHS tapes and filled another box with those. All of Rowan's baby toys are gone and so are a bunch of old baby clothes. We also tossed about 3 bags of garbage and earmarked another 2 boxes for give-away. I wanna know where it was all hiding!

My upper living-room got reorganized and decorated for the Holidays. My lower living-room is sorted and organized and I am working on the crafting/art area right now. There is just no real storage out here and we NEED to just get rid of the things in our life that no longer serve us. If we are a slave to our possessions we can hide behind them and miss out on living. I'm tired of hiding. My new cleaning Mantra is Use, Need, Place.
Can I Use it?
Do I Need it?
Does it have a Place?
It must meet those criteria to stay.

Tis the season of letting go.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

All About Me...gah.

So the book I illustrated is moving forward to publication and I need to come up with a bio. ack!
Some background...my friend wrote a story that she decided to publish as a childrens book and she was looking for an illustrator. I had gotten back to playing with drawings and paintings after a long hiatus and had made them a keepsake box as a gift. After viewing that and some of my other work she asked me to illustrate her story. We had some obstacles (new baby, their water pump on their well broke) but the drawings are turned in and scanned and I need to get them a bio.
I'm used to writing theatre bio's b/c that was...well...what I do. I act. This is newer for me and I'm working it out. A bit harder than I thought it was going to be but I'll get there.
I'll let everyone know when the book is out :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

All Hallow's Eve...Samhain...Hallowe'en

Aaaah Hallowe'en.
A time of mystery and magic...
A time of shadows and moonlight
When the veil between the worlds thins
and only our laughter anchors us to the now.

The New Year
Winter's Beginning
Where the Wheel of Life
The Circle; begins it's rotation
With the dying of the land.

A time of Faeries and Masks and Deception
Of treats and tricks
of laughter and screams
A time to glorify and revel in our fears
and perchance
heal them.

My Favorite time.

Somebody please explain to me then why I NEVER seem to have it together enough to truly DO UP Halloween with all the splendor and magic it deserves? Grrrr. Another thing to work on for myself as I face the coming year. ah well...moving on.

This year for Halloween we had some interesting firsts. My oldest for the first time requested a gory and scary costume. We've been through ninjas and dragons and spiderman etc...but this year my sweet, gentle boy wanted to be a cloaked and hooded figure with a glowing white screaming face dripping and oozing blood. A thing to make a mother proud. My dd was not a princess!!! (gasp) She chose a 'dark empress' costume and looked like an evil faerie queen. And my little guy was a crab...lol...a crab that hated it's head. His first was in learning how to trick or treat. He learned to walk up to someone, say "HAND", receive a candy and place it in his pumpkin. Too Cute. Mark and I also went against nature and were prep school sweethearts for Halloween. Anyone who knows us understands the joke. (For those that don't let me just say that we are the antithesis of that there costume)
Also a first we had another adult with us for Halloween. Thom (Rowan's godfather) came along as a rather gorgeous pirate. Too bad he's gay...too bad for the ladies I mean cause he is HOT and just the sweetest man on earth. (Yes my husband knows I think that) Thom actually gave me my greatest complement...he commented on my outfit as being so cute it was naughty in a bizarre twisted way and that he never noticed til now that I have a great ass. When a gay man praises your ass...this is a good thing. right?

Here are the costumes:
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Remembering Mary

My friends Annaleah and Joshua used to do playback theatre with me. Their daughter Mary had had some issues at birth that caused her to have motor skills issues and speach issues. A sweeter soul you would never meet though.

I remember doing a playback rehearsal where I played Mary for one of Joshua's memories. He had spoken to us of how much he loved her and how close their bond was. He spoke also of the joy she brought to his life through the 'simple things'. The two of them used to go bowling all the time and that was HIS special time with her. I don't think I ever saw them apart...she was the light and joy of his life.

Two years ago Mary had a series of strokes and ended up in the hospital...she almost didn't recover. Eventually she did but you could see that her hold on this world was a bit more tenuous...she seemed almost transparent at times...ethereal.

Well, on September 23rd 2007 at the age of 23...Mary crossed over.

We had not been in close contact with Annaleah and Joshua for a while...although we saw them here and there and it was by chance (or design?) that Mark saw the obituary in the paper and called my attention to it. We saw it on Sat. and the memorial at there house was that coming Monday.

Suddenly I was 'taken by the muse' and had to begin writing. I finished the verse and some sketching on Saturday and painted the gift on Sunday afternoon. On Monday we attended the gathering at their house (found the house by chance too...since there was no address in the paper) and I presented them with this "Present of Mary"

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Many a flower blooms and fades ' too quickly we might say, yet

A flower's worth is measured out in joy, not length of stay

Regret not the fading nor the petals on the breeze.

Yesterday's Petals on the winds of memory

Are smiles beyond a flower's season.

- in memory of Mary A.

The Saga of the Bird

"The TIME has come" the walrus said "to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax: of Cabbages and Kings" - Lewis Carroll

And here the time has come to speak of the saga of the bird. So fix yourself a cup of tea and a plate of cookies and settle in...it's story time.

Once upon a time in a land full of feathers and dreams there lived a family of 5. Well, 5 humans at least. A mother human, a father human, an eldest son, a middle daughter, and a toddler boy. This family also included 5 pets: The eldest cat, the boy cat, the boy cat's girl friend, the kitchen cat, and the dog. The family was complete and happy to be so. At least, they THOUGHT they were complete.

One day the family was preparing for a friend to visit and share a meal with them. The elder children were out playing and staying out of the way while the mother and father prepared dinner and the toddler played "get underfoot". It was 5:45 in the evening and the friend was due to arrive around 6/6:30pm...dinner was cooking and there were only a few preparations left to be made. Plenty of time to finish without being rushed.
Suddenly the voice of the girl child was heard through the open window as she and the boy made their way home: "mumble mumble BIRD...mumble KEEP IT mumble".

The mother immediately thought to herself "Oh PLEASE, by all that is sacred in the world - NOT A BABY CHICKEN".

{Now to understand the urgency of the mother's fervor'd plea it is necessary to be aquainted with a few salient facts:

Firstly - that chickens are wild on this Rock in the Sea, in fact the neighbors boy had recently adopted 2 wild baby chicks...and chickens (and roosters) are loud!

Secondly - the dog (due to an unfortunate 'pecking incidence' in his youth) had an unreasoning hatred of all things chicken...unless cooked}

Well, her supplication was answered. It was not a baby chicken.

Oh no...not a chicken.

It was one of these:

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A Japanese White eye...only a little bit bigger than a large egg.


So the mother and father made the bird a safe place within the cat carrier using a towel and gave the bird water and melon and crackers to tempt it. All through dinner the toddler HAD to go and see the bird. The young boy was enthralled and kept signing "bird bird bird" to anyone who would listen. Every 5 minutes he went to see the bird: "bird bird bird". Well the bird eventually settled in and looked like it was sleeping. So the mother told the young child "Shhhh, we must be quiet. The bird is trying to sleep" So the young boy then signed "Shhhhh, bird sleep". Over and over he would ask for someones hand so he could lead them to where the bird was and tell them "Shhhhhh, bird sleep".

And so the evening drew to a close. The friend left, the daughter and toddler fell into slumber and the eldest boy was reading in his room as the father and mother worked on ending their day. But all was not ok in this house of feathers and dreams...the father came to the mother with unsettling news "I think the bird died" he said to her...so she came to look and sure enough the small bundle of feathers had breathed it's last and moved on.

What to do?

In the morning the mother spoke to the daughter and told her of the passing of the feathered spirit. "My daughter" she said "do not grieve to deeply; this beautiful bird knew that it's time to move on had come...and it came to you. It trusted you to give it a safe and comfortable place for it's body to rest while it's spirit moved on. That is a very sacred and special trust to receive from a wild animal. Be honored that you were chosen and do not be ashamed of your tears, for they are natural and right. We will allow you to choose a special plant and we will bury the bird..." "Her name is Cutie" said the daughter. "We will bury Cutie and put a plant over her so you can always see her in the growth of your plant" said the mother. "We will do it this afternoon when you come home from school."

So the children left for school and the mother and father sat and thought. They thought of how cute the young toddler had looked when he signed bird...they thought of how much the young girl had liked the bird...they thought of the inevitable "Can we get a bird" that was bound to issue from the childrens mouths...and they decided to go look and see if getting a bird would be a feasable thing to do.

Now I am sure, dear reader, that you KNOW what happened next...

They came home with THIS:
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and the children were pleased.

Then they buried Cutie under a beautiful crotan right in the front of the house.

They are now a family of 5 humans and 6 pets and they are working on making the budgie feel welcome. The mother is hand training it. The children talk to it. The toddler coo's and babbles at it right before trying to hug the entire cage.

And the father, you ask? He is trying to convince the dog that the bird will not replace him and convince the cats that the bird is NOT a 'box-lunch'.

And so the saga of the bird comes to a close. In the land of dreams a new feather has come to roost and sing.

and all of this is true...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lazy Saturday.

It was a pretty lazy saturday out here...first hint of fall in the air.
Well, for Hawaii anyway.
It was cool and rainy. We were supposed to have 2 soccer games for Julian today but they called off the tournament due to the rain, so we came home and just crashed.
I like it when it gets cooler. We should have some more of that soon. I think I really miss Fall and Spring. I do like some of the seasons...the crispness in the air the smell of new flowers in the spring. Just not sub zero - freeze your nose off - cold.
I really need to get all of my back stuff blogged so I can talk about my boy...my oldest turns NINE on the eleventh. wow.
OK...my brain is fried today. Count this a loss and I will blog more later

Friday, November 2, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Right?

So my Daughter Arietta has always been one to march to the beat of her own drummer...or at least her own solo. It's fitting I guess...her name means 'little aria' or more literally...'little self contained piece for one voice'. Yup. That's her to a T or a do re mi at least. She is only 5 and is in first grade, won't turn 6 til the end of February BUT she is almost top of her class and peers with the older students. Yeah...one of those...lol.
She was a "dark empress" for Halloween so I did her hair in twisted whirlies in front...make her fairie-like:
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Ignore the head glued to shoulder pose...it's her new thing.
she decided after seeing how it looked when the whirlies came out that she wanted THAT style for school on Fri.
So thursday we bathe and whirl hair so that it looks like this:
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and on Friday we take the whirlies out and off she goes:
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Like I said...she has her own orchestra playing for her.

And you know what?

I wouldn't want it any other way.

How is this OK?

Double Standards bother me to no end.
And this is a shining example of a double standard in action. There has recently been furor over the movie "A Golden Compass". Accusations have been made that it is attempting to subvert children and indoctrinate them into Atheism. This is bad and should be boycotted. HOWEVER it is apparently ok for someone to put this pamphlet in a bag of candy they hand to my child on Halloween:

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I don't care that it's Christian...what annoys me is that THIS is ok but a similar pamphlet extolling the 'truth' of Wicca or Atheism etc would cause an uproar. I don't much see the difference.
Now don't get me wrong...if this had been offered to ME as the parent I would have no problem with it. Gives me the right to choose and respects my RIGHT to have a different belief. Sneaking it into my child's candy bag at halloween??? not so much.
Double Standards people...double standards.
You can't do it yourself and then cry foul when it's done back to you.
Honor MY Truth as I Honor YOURS. They can both be valid without being diminished.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Journey Begins

The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step...at least that's the quote...so here is my stepping off place. Bilbo Baggins in LOTR likened the road to a dangerous River that can sweep you onwards into unknown adventure simply by your stepping out your front door. So I am dipping my toe...as it were...testing the waters.
I love to journal but always seem to stop or have trouble finding the time to write. With nursing Rowan though I seem to spend lots of time at the computer; might as well use it to my advantage and try my hand at an online journal. It's not quite the same...I can't draw or color...but we'll see how it goes.
It seems fitting that I begin my journey on the Wiccan New Year. I am not one to limit myself to one belief but I like the symbolism of the Wiccan holidays...how neatly the fit into the cycle of the earth. I think it's time for me to study Wicca a bit more.
I'm on a journey in life too...constantly working on myself; learning, growing, changing...it's a fascinating path; this river of life and you can't fully appreciate it unless you immerse yourself.

I think it's time for a swim.