Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Not to React

I was inspired to write this post mostly due to this Anonymous comment- "The only thing I would suggest that your readers might like to see is more articles about your FABULOUS brother. KA-KOW!"

(I do have a better picture of the two of us together, but it's almost 5 years old. In it, both of us are thinner and have more hair. Sad.)

My brother Tommy rents a room at our sister Jenny’s house. I’m always shocked and awed that they can live together, even more surprised that Jenny’s SO doesn’t have a problem with it. Or he pretends not to have a problem with it, which is just as good. None of this is relevant to the following story except to establish the fact that Tommy lives with Jenny.

Got it? OK, I’ll move on.

One week, Jenny and Brad went out of town. They had left in the morning, after Tommy had gone to work. Later that evening, he returned home, watched TV for awhile and then got up to head to bed. It was at this point that he noticed that the back door was unlocked. Usually Jenny is very particular about making sure everything is locked up, so Tommy was mildly creeped out. He found it hard not to picture the person who had snuck into the house and was waiting to ambush him and make clothes out of his skin.

But, he then remembered that he was a grown up and decided to head up the stairs to bed (after he’d locked up properly).

At this point in the story, we’ll cut to my house, where I'm laying in bed reading. My phone rings. I see from caller ID that it’s Tommy’s cell phone and I answer.

Except no one’s on the line.

I’ve had cell phones call me without their owners knowledge before. Usually, I cup my hand around the mouthpiece and yell the person’s name into the phone. Which is what I did. A couple of times.

Cut back to Tommy. He’s walking up the stairs in a house that he KNOWS should be empty and hears someone calling his name, very faintly. So, does he do what any rational human being would do under those circumstances (especially remembering the unlocked door) which is to run and hide in the nearest closet and maybe pee yourself a bit? No, in the quiet, questioning and clearly freaked out voice of someone who suspects an intruder in house, but is too polite to run for a butcher knife he says, "Hellooooo?"

Now here we run into one of the really frustrating things about text. If I were a better writer, it wouldn’t be an issue. I would be able to convey how truly ridiculous and hilarious the way he said that one word was. But the way he said that ‘hello’ is impossible for me to convey in the written word. The fact that he responded at all, still makes me laugh, sometimes to the point of tears. Just picturing him going up the stairs, hearing this disembodied voice saying his name. Seeing him pause, mid step and respond, Hellooooo? Oh crap, it’s enough to make me snort.

I yell his name into the phone again and he finally realizes where the voice is coming from (his pocket) and also the fact that he recognizes it.

It’s interesting (but basically irrelevant) to note that I was uncharacteristically unconcerned at all of this. I’m usually the type of person that will imagine all kinds of horrible and totally unlikely scenarios given the slightest provocation. The fact that my mind didn’t immediately jump to an image of Tommy, trussed up by a burglar, trying desperately and quietly to call his big sister for help, probably prevented an unwanted visit from the police after I called 911.

So when he finally gets to the phone and both of us realize what’s happened, he tells me that if it wasn’t so totally hilarious, he would likely be crying as he was that freaked out.

But here’s my sisterly advice, Tommy. If this situation ever presents itself again, at least take off your shoe to defend yourself with.

Monday, January 19, 2009

If You Have an Imagination, You Have Freedom

I want to share a fantastic poem with you this morning. It was written by our friend Raven, who is 11. And let me just say right now that this poem is as good, or better than, many I've read that were written by professional poets. Raven often tells her mom that she wants to be a writer when she grows up and her mother reminds her that she already is.

I completely agree.


What Freedom Means to Me

You ask what freedom means to me,
you want to know, ill say. Freedom is
the sky to the birds and their right to
fly away.

Freedom’s the song the crickets sing,
to lull their people to sleep.
Freedom’s the imagination of children,
thinking deep.

Freedom’s the sound of a mother,
cheering for her child.
Freedom’s a herd of horses, always
running wild.

Freedom’s two men hugging,
one is black and one is white.
Freedom’s a young girl fighting,
in the cover of the night.
Freedom’s brave men dying,
for what belongs to them.
Freedom’s a woman singing,
a lovely religious hymn.

Freedom’s people excepting,
one another for their race.
Freedom’s children frolicking,
in a large wide open space.

Freedom’s a small boy dreaming,
that he’s a proud and honorable knight.
Freedom’s a mother working,
for her family with all her might.

So you ask what freedom means to me,
and I have told you clear.
My poem is done,
for no you know,
that freedom is very dear.

And she has a little postscript to the poem, which is just as nice as the poem itself...
Freedom is the rights of people everywhere. We are still working for freedom in many ways yet we have attained many types of freedom. If you have an imagination, you have freedom. Freedom is a dream. Freedom is hope.

More background- Raven's teacher submitted this to an Elk's club competition and she won first place. After her mom told her that she'd won and asked her if she'd like to know what the prize was, Raven replied, "It doesn't matter. I won!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Tale of Two Grandmas- Part 1 (I think)

Last Thursday I received a call that my paternal grandmother had passed away in the night. Then on Sunday I received another call that my maternal grandmother had just passed that morning.

Neither of these calls were totally unexpected. Both women were in hospice care. They were both in pain, mentally and physically. In a lot of ways, it was a relief. What was hardest was the fact that they died within 3 days of one another.

It makes for a long and emotionally exhausting week.

However, the reason I stopped in here this morning is to share with you the songs that each of these women requested be played at their funerals. On more than one occasion in the last 10 years, each of my grandmas has played me their individual songs, making sure that if every other person in the family was suddenly struck with grief induced amnesia, I was to ensure that we heard these songs when we sat and pondered their lives.

And I have to say, their choices are completely spot on.

Losing two grandmas in the space of 3 days has thrown into sharp focus the differences and similarities of these two women. I've been thinking about how each of them handled society's pressure to be a good wife, mother and woman in a very different way. I may or may not share that here, depending on how coherently I can pull those thoughts together.

But for now, I think their songs say enough...

Thelma- Orange Blossom Special

(When they played this song during the funeral, I started to giggle and then I started to cry as well. I got to the place of such intense giggling and crying that my whole body was silently shaking. I was worried that it was going to just burst out in great waves of sobbing and snorting, but somehow I managed to maintain.)

Juanita- Riviera Paradise

(My MeMaw had a serious crush on Stevie Ray Vaughan. And I have to say I'm totally with her on that one. His music was so sexy and groovy. She never missed an episode of his on Austin City Limits. I hope that he meets her at the Pearly Gates playing this song and then busts right into The House is a Rockin', with her accompanying him on the piano.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Plea for Help

Ya hear that?

It's the sound of my forehead bouncing up and down on my keyboard.

So here's the story. Sometime last year, I began to get really fed up with Blogger. I don't like that I can't make stand alone pages and I especially dislike that most of the time, it doesn't give me commenters' email addresses so I can respond to them like a civilized person.

I'd also really like to be able to do more customizing and organizing of my pages since I'm so utterly scattered in my content. You know, make it a bit easier to navigate the mess. One of my biggest priorities is dividing out the topics so readers can subscribe to individual categories if they so choose. I've wanted that since Day 1 with Blogger. (And I promise these gripes have nothing to do with the fact that they called me spam.)

After some research, I decided to go with WordPress. Supposedly, I'll be able to do anything at all that I want to with my site.

The sky's the limit! Woo hoo.

(Migrating my blog makes me feel grrrrr. It also casts an unflattering light on my face and makes my hair look pretty crappy. And, for some strange reason, it makes my nose look all bent to one side, which it totally doesn't look like in real life. Holy crap, when did I break my nose? It must have been while I went comatose reading the Codex.)

Ya, not only is WordPress not exhibiting any of the ease I was hoping for, but just figuring out how to organize my content has been a huge stumbling block.

That's when the headbanging started.

It's my categories. They vex me.

So if you've read this far through my random, sleep-deprived tangents, could you please do me a solid?

Pretty, pretty please... leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite kinds of posts are here at Wisdom of the Moon, using your own words, not my ridiculous tags from the side.

I want to corral my tags into 4 to 6 parent categories with the tags then becoming sub-categories. And I'm basically trying to decide if certain categories deserve their own top spot, or if they get sorted in with 'Miscellaneous'.

'Cause I've got a lot of miscellaneous. Maybe I should just have 'Home Page' and 'Everything Else'. Oh wait, that would put us right back where we started.

Anyway, if you let me know your favorite categories, I promise to repay you with a more navigable and useful site, sometime in, oh I don't know, the next decade.

How's that for a deal?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Perfect Start to the Year

This is how we spent New Year's Day.


Playing on the ice and chatting with friends at the home of some incredibly generous friends. Every year they have chili and hot chocolate along with skating and horseback riding.



And since I had such a hard time choosing which of Jenny's pictures to add, I'll just satisfy myself with links to a few more of my favorites.

Kam Keeping His Eyes on the Skating Gnome
Boatload of Skates
I Love This Hat
Watchin The Horses