Archive for the ‘Doing Nothing’ Category

Time slows down

Fern gets the boot.

Well, dear readers…  this earth mama is in the final stretch.  Eight days to go until my due date.  Of course, any intuitive mama knows that baby comes when baby comes.

It helps to have a timeframe to focus on, even though I am not a time-conscious person.  Especially these days.  Nighttime is when I toss and turn and walk around and eat, daytime is when i sleep, eat, and cry.  Sometimes it’s the other way around. I forget which day it is.  Dishes pile up, and dogs and rarely get fed before noon.  Teeth go unbrushed for hours some mornings, and as I type this, i am still in my nightgown (perhaps the only comfortable clothing I have left), and I’m trying to remember if I showered 2 days ago or 3.

To add to my frustration, I have managed to injure my left ankle.  I saw an orthopedist yesterday who thinks it could be a stress fracture.  It seems that between the added weight, and a pregnant woman’s bone density, I could have a few hairline fractures in my precious and longsuffering foot.  This not only causes me to walk with a limp, but is now causing stress on my right leg.  And as you can imagine, my poor back is crying out for relief from both the baby and the awkward postures.

So the doc prescribed me one of those funny boots.  Which takes a lot of pressure off of the foot, but causes me even more back pain.  After the baby comes, and my lady parts have begun to resume their natural shape, I will go in for an X-ray.  Ugh.  I figure at this point, my back is more important than my foot for labor, though I had planned to move about as much as possible.  I’m applying ice packs regularly, which temporarily relieve some of the inflammation, and trying to still do some yoga to keep my spine strong and balanced.

Come around and visit me if you can.  You will find me sitting in my glider, reading and crying.


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Fern touches on a sensitive subject

In these final days of pregnancy, I have been doing a lot of resting.  Of course, I do my exercises and swing my hips as often as possible (lordisa, do they hurt!), but I must admit I have been spending a lot of time off of my feet.  This has facilitated me doing something I don’t really do- watch TV.

A large part of our meager income is thanks to the honeyman’s graphic design skills.  While I am not typically a TV watcher, honeyman likes to have it on while he works- being from the Big Apple, he works well in chaotic and noisy environs.  So, of course this means that as I am sitting on my big butt, I, too, have been watching TV.

It’s worth noting that we do not have cable.  Which means our choices are blessedly limited- cable TV can make a person batshit crazy with all of the inane choices available.  But this also means that even when we don’t want to see them, there are some pretty heavy, fear-mongering shows on network TV.  Shows such as CSI and others like it can’t seem to go five minutes without uttering words such as “rape” and “sexual assault.”  There was a time when I would have felt compelled to watch such shows (many, many moons ago), but since life is scary enough, these were the first to go when I stopped watching TV more than 10 years ago.  In addition to the crime-dramas, there are the readily available news shows, also heavy with the fear.  And it is one of these shows that has inspired this post.

This past Friday evening, the honeyman and I rented a movie (the A-Team was awesome, ya’ll!) and made some pasta for one of our final date nights as non-parents.  We turned on the tube while we were waiting for dinner to finish, and set up our little nest for comfortable action-movie-watching.  The show that was on was a news show featuring the Peace Corps.  As we watched, a story unfolded about a lovely, idealistic young woman who was murdered while teaching in a foreign country.  She had discovered that one of her fellow volunteers had been sexually assaulting some of their young female students.  An email and an information leak later, and the young woman was found dead in her hut, after letting her dog out.

The show went on to feature other women who had been assaulted and raped while on duty with the Peace Corps.  It was gut-wrenching to watch, but I wouldn’t stop.  The honeyman kept checking in- was I sure I wanted to watch this?  I nodded, and remained steadfast. As I listened to these women tell their stories on national television, thoughts of my own fears and experiences began to surface.  I went to the places in my heart that for so long I had ignored, suppressed, pushed down, way deep down.  It’s only been in the recent present that I have begun to accept and deal with my own experiences with such an unfair and atrocious reality.  And I, like so many women, must answer to these memories every day.

There was a time in life when I thought that I could erase the things that had happened to me.  I could numb my fears with alcohol, with food, even with sex.  It wasn’t until I found some compassion for myself, and began to tell my own story, that the healing began.  And it’s funny- it’s still only beginning.  Not a day goes by when I don’t remember it, when I don’t feel it.  It never stops happening.

I won’t patronize you with numbers and statistics on sexual abuse and it’s prevalence in our culture and others around the world.  Statistics don’t heal, they don’t comfort, they don’t understand.  Instead, I encourage you- hell, I demand you- to tell your story.  Tell it, and tell it again.  Find your tribe.  Dance to your pain.  Look it in the eyes and laugh at it.  Own it.  Wear it on a t-shirt, make art about it, have a party to celebrate it.  Make it yours.  You will find others like you.  And as much as it hurts to know that others have endured something like you have, investigating your pain earns you strength, resilience, and best of all, love.  It’s not magic, people.  But it kind of is.

It’s taken me a lot of time, effort, crying, sharing, walking, dancing, tree-climbing, singing, screaming and other sorts of unorthodox therapies to come to a place where I can face my demons.  It hasn’t come easy, but it has come abundantly.  I now have a loving tribe, women and men in my life who listen in earnest and share healing love energy.  It’s taken a lot of sorting through the rubble of acquaintances and experiences to find my true friends.  I am continually astounded at what I discover about the women in my life each time we share in ritual.  I find more strength and loving within myself, and I see it reflected in the faces of my tribeswomen- and in the men in our lives.  I see the faces of the oppressors, of the barbarians softened into faces of respect and protection in the man I love and the men who love the powerful women in my life.

I’ll never stop holding out hope that one day such stories will be something we read about in the herstory books and we try to imagine the horrors of, like we do the Holocaust.  But until then, I will delve down deep into my own pain, and while I am there, will take the hands of the women like myself, and smile, as we walk our paths to a place of healing.

Peace, peace, peace.  Ferocity and love to all who have been hurt in this way.  May we find each other, embrace, and dance on.

Following are some suggestions for how to find your tribe, how to protect yourself, and how to nurture the love within.

–       First and foremost, share your story.  Whether it’s through a support group, a dance class, an herbal lecture, or a sewing circle, find a group of women, and start talking.

–       Get out in nature.  Breathe in the air, put your bare feet on the ground, feel the life in a huge tree.  Reconnect with Mother Earth.  She has infinite healing powers.

–       Take care of your health.  You will feel better and have more stamina for the healing work when you feel and look your best.

–       When you are out and about alone, walking, biking, running, skateboarding, or whatever, navigate well-lit and well-traveled areas, and always let a trusted girlfriend know where you’ll be and when you expect to be home.  It may sound goofy, or even dependent, but knowing someone has your back is empowering, and let’s face it, it’s just a damn good idea.

–       If you live alone, consider getting a dog.  Preferably a medium-sized to large one.  Yes, it is a big responsibility.  But a dog will be more loyal to you than any gun, knife, or taser, likely won’t be wrestled from you and used against you, and will be a deterrent before any need arises to use force.  And there are trainers who specialize in pairing guard dogs with women specifically for this purpose.

–       Make art and journal.  Be as messy as you can be when you create.  Life is messy and erratic, and abuse gets on our hands and hearts.  When you can see your fears and your dreams come alive in color and texture, they will be more easy to recognize in real, waking life.  The power lies in awareness.

–       Finally, love your Self.  I cannot stress this enough.  No matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you come from, or what you think you look like, be your most beautiful and loving Self.  Be your own best friend, laugh, and forgive.

Wilddog Ollie and the Bulldozer- home security systems, personal trainers, therapists, and potential weapons of mass destruction.

Healing blessings to all.

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fern does some grunt work

ugh.  35 pounds ago, i remember breathing easy, putting on shoes, sleeping on my back, and dreaming of the day i would carry a babe in my womb.  i must say, those days seem like a distant memory.

now, i get winded reaching out for a glass of water on my bedside table.  when it’s cold out, the honeyman has to help me into my socks and shoes.  my hips hurt from sleeping on my side.  and now i dream of the day when i will hug this baby out of my body and into my arms.

but i’m not the only woman who’s ever been pregnant, and i’m not the last.  and if i’d known about all of the grunting, farting, belching, and leaking that comes with pregnancy, well, i’d still have done it.  (and, yes, i hope to do it again)

like it or not, i have to slow things down a little these days.  okay, i have to slow things down a lot.  i rest in between loads of laundry or trips upstairs, and i can only walk one dog at a time, for just a block or two.  getting in and out of the car is a chore.  and i cry a little each time i have to get down to the floor to pick something up.

it’s funny how nature prepares us as women for learning to make peace with things out of our control.  like spending much of your pregnancy (1st and 3rd trimesters) doing little more than sleeping, eating, crying and going to the bathroom.  like letting some things go around the house and taking a nap instead.  like cuddling with your honey in spite of the piles of dishes and laundry and barking dogs and ringing phones, because you never know when you might get another chance to just be together.

while a part of me wishes this boy would just come on out, the rest of me knows that he’s still got some cooking to do.  so, i will cry some more, and i will patiently, and perhaps grudgingly, wait it out.  because when he’s out, i will never feel this kind of sensation with this little being again.  and something tells me i will miss it.

i wish i had something profound to share here, but i don’t.  honestly, i’m already tired of sitting over this computer, the technolighting is making me want to cry.  so, i will, right after i take another nap.

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just another manic monday

fern wastes some time.

ugh.  it’s shaping up to be a hellacious week.  as my body gets heavier and heavier, so do my to-do lists.  with aida leaving this week (we are all wearing frowny faces just thinking about it), daisy rehearsing, and the honeyman and i readying our home to accomodate a baby boy, 2 chickens, and 50+ partygoers this weekend, the cowgirls are just plain overwhelmed.  there is still sooooo much to be done…  and so little time (and energy) to do it.

i am sad to report i have spent most of today sleeping.

it seems that here at the lovehouse we are always either cleaning or living amongst piles of dishes, clothes, dog hair, and “things to organize.”  and though we’ve made the commitment to not buy anything besides food until we get some of this junk out of here, inevitably, stuff sneaks in.  baby seats and swings from my sister.  off-to-goodwill baby clothes packed in with some returned books from a girlfriend.  second-hand maternity pants.  three rugs.  a 70’s tv (don’t even ask).  and the piles continue to grow.  and grow.  and grow.

yesterday, honeyman and i went over to lakou to size up our soon-to-be new girls, and some chicken house-building materials.  we also wanted to engage in a fantasy that we might like to live at lakou more than at our house.  after getting myself locked in the bathroom for 20 minutes (i said don’t ask!) or so, we found ourselves sitting with the lovely aida and her big boy for a few hours extra.  yes, hours.  and it didn’t stop there.  rather than having the work day we’d committed to, we spent nearly all of it with aida and the big boy, talking about birthing and flying and lordisa knows what else.  some would say we got nothing accomplished.

but, as is my custom, i beg to differ.  we accomplished one of the most important tasks of life, one that had not found it’s way onto our list:  presence.  to be fully present with our selves, and with each other is something so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.  the people we love will always be there, right?  we just gotta get this stuff done today, make a little more money, dust our collection of 45’s, wash the dishes, wash the car, wash the dogs…  until we have to do it all again.

i may have to stay up a little later one day this week to get all of my cooking and cleaning done before saturday.  i may have to hide our disorganized and displaced junkpile at a neighbor’s house.  i may have to (gasp!) leave my dogs filthy during the party.  but i won’t have to regret not getting to know an amazing woman and her energetic son before they head to the great cold up yonder.

my lists will always get longer, as will (hopefully) my patience.  and, though the distance between friends will grow longer and farther, i suspect the bonds will grow stronger and deeper.

take nothing for granted, dear readers.

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fern keeps it short and sweet

a couple of nights ago, i spent a night tossing and turning with bad dreams.  it became difficult to tell where sleep ended and waking began.  finally, the sun arose, and i found myself clumsily awake in the new day.  still, the dreams wouldn’t stop.

i wearily readied myself for a work day.  as i was putting the final elements together to leave, the honeyman rolled over, smiled, and asked how i was doing.  and that’s all it took.

a flood of tears, mournful sobs, and a pint of snot later, i found myself asleep, peacefully, gratefully, safe in the morning sunlight.  i had had to miss work, regrettably, but my hindsight wisdom told me that this cryfest would have happened either way.  i am glad i had it at home.

never had i dreams so real, and so terrifying.  until i spilled the dream beans to my love, each time i blinked, the horrible imagery was as real as the toothbrush in my mouth.  once shared, however, the images began to fade, as if diluted by my tears.

it was at the honeyman’s suggestion that i decided to visit my sister.  she lives 50 minutes away, so i don’t see her and her family as often as i would like.  still, it’s good to know there are hugs available within an hour’s drive.  so i picked out a good driving cd, kissed the honeyman, and off i went.

of course, no good driving music is complete without a few crying songs.  heck, singing and crying are half the reason i drive in the first place.  so i sang, and i cried, and a few times more did the same.  and then, i arrived.

there is no feeling quite so therapuetic as seeing someone who is happy to see you.  i got to see four little humans who healed me before they could even hug me.  my nieces and nephews bring so much clarity, so much honest magic into my heart, that i barely remembered the impetus for my journey.  i laughed for the pure joy of feeling the marshmallow hugs encircling my neck, the constant giggles, the two freshly missing teeth of my oldest niece, the spelling talents of my oldest nephew, the rockstar mischief of the younger boy, and the darling newly-toothed smile of the baby girl.  we played memory games, i spy, we colored, we felt baby kicks, we spelled, we hugged, we ate, we loved.  and i left a healed woman.

my niece cried when she hugged me goodbye.  she didn’t want to let go, she said she missed me so much, and i felt her sweet little body warming mine.  i remembered when she was just a day old, and how quickly the time has passed since she was born.  i looked up at my sisters other three children, all so distinctly different, and so perfect.  i thought of my own brother, and how we’ve grown apart over the years.  and i thought of my budding family, and how i never want to lose the feeling of closeness with my child or my honeyman.  and what had originally seemed to be a wasted day became a time of redemption, of nourishment.  my soul was at ease once more.

i slept beautifully that night.  i felt my baby kick and flip, and i sent loving thoughts down and into his little soul.  i hope he feels them for all of his days.  i know i will.


sanity replacement therapy


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aida has one of those days.

don’t get too excited about the title.  i wish i were talking about the comfortably delicious boots and not that gutteral sound of disgust for the human race.

today was one of those days that the texture of life seems more like sandpaper on the skin of my soft parts.  morning came too early and too brightly.  lou’s playfulness veered closer to a vicious cat attack.  c.k. and the chubby caterpillar were not at all interested in my existence as anything other than the primate with opposable thumbs who can open the bag of dog food.

i had to do dishes today.  had to.  and we’ve already established how i feel about that.  to make that task easier, i decided to wear my bathing suit while i scrubbed.  the plan was to do the dishes, swim a few laps, then get some homework done.  i got halfway through the dishes and half a dip before the big boy needed, NEEDED!!!, to go to (wait for it…) the mall.  gag me with a rubber spoon, i mean, totally grody.  and since it was so near when i had to get to work, we ended up having lunch at (wait for it again….)the mall.  somewhere, there is a little food angel who opened latin chicks (no, i’m not kidding, that’s really the name.) in the food court for me.  creole beef with ripe platanos…fine, i forgive you kid for dragging me out of the pool.

i had time to go to work and people really had taken their dummy-dumb-dumb pills today just for me.  for some reason, the grunting pointers support group decided to all come in today.  i spent most of my time with customers deciphering the tone of each grunt and its corresponding general geographic location as determined by the point.  and then, the lolly gaggers.  one couple wandered around for 30 minutes after closing, meandered, strolled, stopped and smelled all the flower essences, and finally purchased two sweet potatoes.  Two.  Sweet.  Potatoes.  sandpaper on my tongue.

i had a quart of strawberry kefir for dinner and ordered the big boy his 15th or something pizza of the week.  i was hoping that a bottle of amaretto would just appear in my cupboard, but, nope…nothing but stale flax crackers and healthy herbal teas as far as the eye can see.

now, i’m sitting in my bed, at 8:01 p.m. just waiting for 9 so i can fall asleep without feeling like a great-grandmother who crashes at 8:01 p.m.

sandpaper. on. my. tongue.

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aida double-dips.

(this post was lifted from her other blog.  because she is a little lazy.)

Since I’m getting all personal and heavy on this blog, I have a confession to make. I HATE housework. Doing the dishes? Please, just schedule me for a wisdom tooth extraction instead. Not doing the dishes actually cost me a marriage once. True Story. Folding laundry? Why? Isn’t it just going to end back up here in a week, rumpled again?

But, here’s the quirky thing. (In my world, I’m not neurotic, just quirky.) My housework hatred is in direct correlation to how glorious the weather is outside.

During the wet, grey days of winter, you could eat off my floor. In the beauty of every other season, you have to eat off my floor, because there are no clean dishes.

To make it worse, my son is a teenager. Apparently, teenagers do not have a keen sense of smell, nor is their vision particularly sharp. This leads to piles of unseen dirty clothes and an un-scooped litter box. Instead of being the grown-up, though, my maturity also has an inverse correlation to the weather. So, I regress to my own teenage ways. (I know there’s a piece of jerkey for breakfast around here somewhere under these dank towels!)

Even this post borders on water boarding (you know the torture kind, not the other kind that involves riding waves, which is totally what I would rather be doing) because it is happening inside in my “office”. Of course, I am sitting at the open window, listening to the chickens and eying the pool through the overgrowth of weeds.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books about the benefits of being outside in nature. They are generally scientific tomes that explain all the clinically proven benefits. Being in literal, physical touch with the earth actually changes the electrical functioning of our bodies. Seeing the color green is calming. Activating all of our senses in the way that they evolved to be stimulated makes our experience of life both richer and more harmonious.

I vaguely understand the necessity for all of this science. A lot of people need good, solid laboratory evidence before they will deign to do something out of their comfort zone. Of course, I’m a huge proponent of doing things because they feel so good.

Which brings me back to housework….I hate housework when the weather is nice because I’m in touch with my highly-evolved animal state. It is unnatural to have a house. It is unnatural to seek shelter when everything that makes us human prefers to be outside in the sunlight, breathing in the smell of basil and roses, being tickled by grass and feeling saltwater (our original matrix) on our skin.

Stop polluting so that I don’t have to do “housework” out here, either!

So there, housework! I loathe you because I’m a robust bipedal primate who values my health.

P.S. The only studies I’ve been able to find about housework and health all show that a little dust is a GOOD thing. (Of course there was this little bombshell that gave me pause…until I read between the lines

.  And until clinical trials show that making the bed again and again and again has a direct contribution to me living to be 120 years old, it’s going to stay unkempt…because it’s annoying to do the same thing over and over.

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