Monday, July 25, 2005

Ready for Eddie

I have now completed the most insane parenting task of my lifetime. On Saturday, I left at 7 in the morning to fly to Portland to pick up Edward, ...........a cat. If my children ever doubted my true love for them, it was proven through and through on Saturday. Four and half hours to Portland, a sprint thorough the airport, a quick pick-up, another mad dash to the ticket counter, followed by begging for "cuts" in the security line so I'd make my flight back home, a layover in Dallas and home by midnight. That's just plain nuts, and I was the fool who agreed! In the end, money was saved and a kitten was added to our family, but geez, that was a little extreme.

Edward has so far proved himself to be a perfect addition. He purred the minute I picked him up and has apparently fulfilled all my insane cravings I occasionally have for another child. This morning when I came back from my walk, there he was, all sleepy-eyed and purry and just plunked himself down in my lap while I drank my coffee. What else do you need? A little caffeine and a little furry love. It's all good.

I decided as he sat there purring that he was very healing to me. Lots of love has been lost this year and a little more added was a good thing. I know that it's just a cat, but sometimes it's the small things in life that put the big things in perspective. No words of wisdom will ever come from his mouth, he will never laugh as I blunder my way through parenting, but he will sit in my lap and love me while I drink my coffee in the morning and sometimes that is all you need. A small, furry calming force in my life. Not necessarily mindblowing theology or philosophy, but just a little piece of earthly joy to start the day, creation created for us by our Creator. I don't know, but i think it's pretty cool.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What Have I Done?

It was all fun and games picking out the new kitten. And then reality hit last night when we had to return poor Baily to the animal shelter. All I can say is that it was probably the least fun I've had in quite some time. I feel so fundamentally wrong for just giving away something that we all loved. Baily was a good sweet kitty that just happened to have a really bad habit. I know that in the grand scheme of life, this is not a major moment. Believe me, I've had enough of those to know the difference. Maybe it's that I'm really not as OK as I think I am. Little stuff does seem to set me off much easier than it used to. So for now, I feel awful, mean, and cruel for giving away the family pet. What can I say? I have perfected guilt and self-hatred to a high art.

I'm left to clean my house top to bottom to prepare for Edward's arrival. I'm sure once he's here I'll feel much better. I don't know, in my world, you don't give away things you love...ever.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It's Raining Citations

What the heck? Scott and I collectively have managed to rack up four citations in less than a week. What does this mean? 3 for parking (including getting my friend's car towed that I am supposed to be taking care of while she is on vacation) and one speeding ticket (not mine!). You know, we always wanted to spend ALL of our money like this. All I can think is, "Hey, that all just cost me my new screen door!" One of the parking tickets was given to us after metering time was over. You know, you only have to feed the meter until 6. We got the ticket at 6:30. What the f*#&! Bad luck, bad karma, bad cops. I don't know. So, I just got back from the Norshore Towing pound. Yikes! That place is a bit scary. Scott started singing "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" as we pulled up. Not a place I really ever want to visit again. They are so sympathetic, too. So the moral of the story is, drive the speed limit and mark on the calendar when you need to move cars?

Friday, July 08, 2005


So tonight we are paying our poor suffering students who have been working on our house for three weeks (for a restoration class-they PAID to work on my house!) in BBQ and beer. Believe me when I say I owe them more than a few beers. They have saved us at least a few thousand dollars. They are all very earnest "kids." And of course, one of them is vegan. I actually am looking forward to talking to them tonight. Not much of a chance so far with them, and myself at times, hanging off of scaffolding. I'll include some pictures of the house as it goes through the stages of restoration. All you really need to know is that our house was beige and literally had 110 years of paint on it. Makes for some fun scraping! I never really anticipated some of the repairs we've had to do. Who has to rebuild a chimney? Well, we did. I am very excited about restoring this house. The poor thing had been neglected for about 50 years when we bought it. They had refinished the inside, but did nothing but slap yet another coat of paint on the outside. It ends here! So, if you,d like to know what I'll be doing every weekend this summer, think scaffolding, caustic chemicals and scrapers. Sexy, huh?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Today I Rant

I am appalled and disgusted by the news of the terrorist bombings in London today. On a personal note, I worry for the safety of my sister-in-law, Jhennifer, who is there peacefully studying architectural history. On a global note, why interrupt a conference where the possibility for real positive change is the focus? Clearly, I do not have the mind of a terrorist. Much wrong has been done to so many, but I think we can all agree that blowing things up is certainly no solution. And I would say the same to our own nation as we continue to torment people on what seems like a global basis. There's no point in asking why anymore. We're left with this mess and personally I feel helpless to effect any kind of change. I sign things when I can, write to congressmen, and even to the president. Yeah, I'm sure he read that! I feel the anger just boiling up inside of me this morning. Pure unadulterated disgust and that behavioral therapist feeling of "Consequate!" Not that I am advocating retaliation, just I wish there was a peaceful consequence that would stop this madness. Lauren, you're studying justice and punishment. Any thoughts? This is total injustice on all accounts as far as I can tell. What next?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Edward!!! Posted by Picasa

Goodbye Baily, Hello Edward

So, our old cat is leaving us due to some "behavioral issues." I hate being a parent sometimes. It is so painful. Emma is so upset about losing the cat and I feel evil for causing the pain, but the cat is destroying our house. To alleviate some of her pain, we are getting a new kitten. She has already named him Edward. He is being flown to us from a cattery in Oregon. It was the best deal we ould find on a Ragdoll. Hopefully the new kitty will fill that empty space in her heart. Thanks to puberty, she is kind of a mess right now with emotions flying all over the place. It's wonderful to see her growing up, but this is such a brutal age.

As for me, I am focusing my energy on work, the house and getting ready for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. Apparently all fabulous diversions from dealing with my own raw emotions. There are many times that I feel like a shell of my former self. Losing my mom has left a hole that I can't even fathom at times. I've lost my mother and my best friend. The loss of female companionship is the most difficult to take. And of course, I have always felt that no one could understand me as well as she did. No one ever does love you like your mother, that all encompassing level of true unconditional love. With everyone else, your faults matter. Moms see your faults, endure your faults, and help you navigate your way through them.

Enough about sadness and loss, although it has fully taken over my life it seems. I'd love to rant about the government, but I just don't have the energy these days. I'd love to sit and discuss the last great book I read, but it just doesn't seem to matter so much. I do spend a lot of my time focusing my energy on the kids I work with, in an effort to make their lives and their families lives better. I guess I'm a one person at a time girl. No big fights for me, just little ones.

A great thing that has been happening lately, and spurring my work efforts on, is that one of my little guys is really doing well. In the last month he has changed so much for the better. I'm afraid to say it, but I have been convinced all along that he is one of the ones that will make it. He is so close, finally crossing the final threshold of socialization with his peers. Boring to some, three years of literal brute force and undying energy and patience for me.

I did want to mention my trip to New York with Emma. We had a fabulous time. Zabar's coffee and bagels each morning and shopping until our feet hurt. I have to wonder who this fabulous creature is that was with me. Did I ever know her? Who knew that at the Met, what gave her pause was the armor and modern art? Interesting for an 11 year old girl I'd say. We met Lauren's friends Tom and George for dinner in Chinatown and had a lovely time. Emma loved them both even if she was shy around them at the time.

Guess I should at least mention Evan! He is doing very well, almost done with his baseball season. He is getting more mature and easier to handle everyday. It's about time! Scott's birthday is coming up next weekend. We haven't decided on how to celebrate yet. Guess that's it for now. Work to do. Kids to tend to. House to scrape! Yow, my muscles still hurt from some marathon scraping this last weekend.