Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas and Running

Christmas cards.

I love sending them. I love receiving them. I don't even mind signing my name 150 times on all the corporate "seasons greetings" cards.

But why, oh why, do I procrastinate so?

I SO love Christmas. I love the music. I love the decorations. I love the food. I love the social gatherings. And now I love the location - where people are actually happy when they shop, and still smile when they stand in long lines at the cash registers. Where there is snow and crisp, clean air, and Christmas lights everywhere.

It really feels like Christmas. I've missed this.

It's hard to believe we're into the second week of December. I saw a sign the other day at a cash register that said, "17 more days 'til Christmas."

And I thought, "Holy Kris Kringle! 17 more days???" Where did this year go?

And next thing I know, I'll be 38.

The good news is, I started running again. Instead of locking myself away for 8 1/2 months to avoid gray skies and depressing rain, and gaining another 10 pounds, I'm actually motivated to get up at 4:45, make it to the gym by 5:00 (and with a massive smile on my face), and hit the treadmill, that is until we start seeing temps above 50 - then I'll hit the trails.

It's crazy to actually feel motivated again. I gotta tell ya. That feels good. It has been a long, long time since I felt that way. I think I lost it within 6 months of moving to Oregon. I'm wearing pants I haven't worn in 4 years. There's a whole section of my closet that will soon be finding a new home with Goodwill. A bazillion pairs of Ann Taylor pants and tops, some of which are hardly worn at all. Practically a whole wardrobe. I'm happy to get rid of them. And while I have a few pairs of smaller sizes, I'm actually really happy I dumped my closet a few years back. I don't want to wear old, used, out of date clothes that I once wore. I want to treat myself to new stuff. Like a little reward. Not in an arrogant way. Just in a, "Damn, it feels good to feel good again" way.

I used to love running. Especially down hill. I always loved getting so much momentum that my legs could hardly keep in front of my body. Weeeeeee!!!!!! I'd spread my arms out like I was flying - and sometimes it felt that way. A massive smile on my face, with the wind drying my teeth out so my upper lip would get stuck. Perma-smile.

Then... I gained 50 pounds over the course of 8 years. And when I tried running I discovered pain in places I didn't even know I had places.

And I cried.

But... I'm running again! Ok... not quite a full run, but I'm jogging at a nice pace. And I'm smiling, too.

Just me. And my iPod. And my breathing. And the rhythm of my steps beating the treadmill, or the trail, or the road.

That makes me happy.

Just like getting my Christmas cards in the mail before Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another great website

Ok, not a blog, but freakin' hysterical.

Jen (and all you crazies at 7's) will totally appreciate this:

www.damnyouautocorrect.com

I cannot tell you how many times the stupid autocorrect changed something.

Michelle - I actually had to add "hahahahaha" to my dictionary to keep it from changing to Haitians....

One among many, but I won't incriminate myself here. At least, not again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hot toddy

It's cold out! **brrrrrrrr**


But I'm cuddled in a cozy robe by a fire with a hot toddy of hot chocolate with a splash or three of peppermint schnapps in my hands.





Aw, schz-yeah. Good stuff, y'all.

And there was much rejoicing.

And all God's people said....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I surrender

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.


Home

This time change is a bugger. My internal clock tells me to get up at 4:45ish. Fall back means closer to 4:00. Not that I mind getting up before the rest of the world, because in that respect, I actually quite enjoy it. (I'm a ridiculous morning person. It's just the way I roll.) But, I don't really have anything to do. I mean, sure, there are things to do. I could read. But I'm not crazy about reading first thing in the morning. I don't know why. Just not the time when anything will stick. I'd love to work out, but... we're in a tiny condo and, thus, there is no room for a treadmill or elliptical (sadly). My gym is 25 minutes away so I couldn't drive to the gym, work out, drive home, get myself & the kids ready, drop them off, and then get to work in time.

Oh, the dilemma. What to do at 4:00 in the morning?

The good news? It snowed. Not enough to stick to the roads or sidewalk, but the grass and trees are covered, and the early morning light is reflecting off the snow crystals making me feel all giddy. I don't know what it is about snow that I love so much. Maybe it brings me back to my childhood and all the fun we had when it snowed. Maybe it's because I love to frolic.

Maybe it's because I love sweaters and scarves, and getting bundled up nice and cozy. Maybe it's because I love little red noses from the chill of the cold air. Maybe it's because I love the puffs of hot breath that rise from our noses and mouths.

Maybe it's because at the end of the day, I know there's a cup of hot something (coffee, chocolate, soup) that will warm me from the insides. Maybe it's because I love the peacefulness and hush of fresh fallen snow. And if you listen close enough, you can actually hear the flakes hit the ground. Maybe it's because I love looking up into the sky and seeing how far I can see before the individual flakes just blend together. (It's surprisingly far.)

Or maybe it's just because it's beautiful.

Or maybe it's all of it together.

I love conversations in the snow. I love making snow angels. I love making snowmen (or women... or children...or other things). I love snowball fights.  I love the crunch of the snow under my feet as I walk. There's just such a mystery about snow, like it's keeping some secret it's willing to tell if you're willing to listen. 

I'm glad it's here. And I'm glad to be in a place that is guaranteed to see some, rather than just hoping this is the year we might get a day or two.

I really am blessed to be here. Every day still, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to be just exactly where I belong, amongst people who "get" me, in a landscape that inspires and breathes life into me where before there were empty places left wondering if I'd ever find my way home.

I'm home. It feels good to be here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Uncreative

I've been writing for 30 minutes, but... just deleted everything. Instead, I think I'll watch a movie.

That's just where I'm at.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Typical Matkovich exchange

This is the demented state of my marriage:
(As copied by Facebook)


Kyra Matkovich:  A new sunrise, a new day, hallelujah! Finding comfort in Jesus today....
15 hours ago via Twitter
Mia White likes this.


Scott Matkovich: Who?
14 hours ago

Kyra Matkovich: Um, Jesus? Creator of the heavens and the earth? Died on a cross and rose on the third day? Savior? Friend? ... No? Nothin'? You need to get your pagan ass to church.
about an hour ago

Scott Matkovich: I am the church, how do I go to myself?
about an hour ago

Kyra Matkovich: You're a jack ass. Go to that.
35 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: I would like to go to there.
34 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Good thing. You're already there. Jack ass.
34 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: You're the one who married a donkey, what does that make you? A Jack Ass's wife. How would you spell that anyway?: Jack Asses?
33 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: Just shut it..stop typing
33 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: stop
33 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: st
33 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: OP
33 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Assi... Assies? I don't know. But you're supposedly the genius of the family.
32 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: I reject anything you say...
32 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: You are a reject.
32 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: Yeah, a group of Assies - You should teach engrish.
32 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: you're unpossible.
31 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: I am going to make you stop typing with my mind.
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Your mind is so not that powerful.
31 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: URRRRRRRRR>>>>STOPPPPP
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: seriously... stop trying.
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: you have no control over me.
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Or my mind.
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: See?
31 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: You're mind is a failure.
30 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: Way to glorify your Jesus post, honey...
30 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Jesus actually typed all of that.
29 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: WWJT?
29 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: The question is not what would Jesus type. The question is, what wouldn't Jesus type?
29 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: Just look above, I think you've answered that one...
28 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Exactly. so... shut it. (Jesus says, "Shut it.")
28 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: You suck
27 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Suck this.
27 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: You suck times a lot of things plus infinity
26 minutes ago

Scott Matkovich: plus a tiny head and gland damage.
26 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: That's the rum talking, huh? Pagan.
26 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: You hit below the... throat.... that is so not cool.
26 minutes ago

And, what do I do with this? Share it with friends who appreciate spousal abuse:

Kyra Matkovich --> Dustin Hughes: Want some entertainment? Go to my profile and scroll down to the nice conversation between Scott and I. Good times, y'all. Good times.
37 minutes ago
 Tracy Hughes:  I can't wait! I am just giddy with excitement.. headin' there now :)
33 minutes ago

Tracy Hughes: and once again, you don't disappoint. Well played, Kyra, well played.
29 minutes ago

Dustin Hughes: That was the most brilliant FB exchange between a husband and wife ever!! That is soooooooo Matkovich!!
28 minutes ago

Kyra Matkovich: Tru dat, my grasshoppers. Bow to your sensei. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!!!!!
16 minutes ago

Listen... do you smell something?

I bought a new shampoo this weekend. I like the way it smells.

Smell is a big deal for me. I have an incredibly sensitive olfaction. (This would explain the highly evolved gag reflex during pregnancy.... The thing of great entertainment for all who witness it.) I hate smelling anything on me. Even if I initially love it, at some point it will cause a headache and I end up doing whatever necessary to wash it off of me. So, it's really nice when I find something (shampoo, lotion, perfume, whatever) that I either can't smell on me at all (because it blends perfectly with my chemistry), or that I enjoy from the moment it's on me until... the end of the day.

This shampoo is one of those smells. I actually pull my hair over my face so I can smell it. I wouldn't do that when anyone is looking, though. And if asked, I would deny it. Cuz that's just crazy.

Side note: I've decided to grow my hair out again. Now that the babes are less interested in pulling the ever-living crap out of it, I think it's safe to let it grow again... That is, if my retarded thyroid lets me.

Funny, I don't have this problem with smells that are not attached to me. Like... a man's cologne, flowers, scented candles, bleach (yes, I like that clean, sterile smell), steaks on the grill... stuff like that.

Although there are smells that I don't care for at all. Like... cheap perfume/cologne (or too much of even the expensive stuff), asparagus pee, dead things, skunk, poop, vomit, or almost any bodily fluids or functions. 

Um.. that took a different turn. Sorry about that.

I don't like the smell of dirty dogs. Why people don't wash their freakin' dogs, especially when they are indoor dogs, is beyond me. Why would you want something in your house smelling like that? On your furniture? On your lap? Ick. I hate getting all chummy with a pooch and then smelling like stank-dog. So... I wash my hands, and then, wouldn't ya know it, the damn dog wants more pets. F.  Why does this happen? If the dog was clean to begin with, this would not be an issue. I hate smelly dogs. Correction. I love dogs. I just don't like their stinkiness.

I hate the smell of cat pee. Especially if someone's house smells like that. Gross. (Case in point: The House of Flowers. Scott, Brian and Shawn can elaborate.)

I'm not a fan of the smell of stale pond water. Rancid nastiness.

Or... musty clothes. Ever left wet clothes in the washer for too long? I don't like that.

Miller High Life is probably one of the most unappealing beer smells ever. It's a cross between skunk and vomit. Like skunk vomit. Yuck.

Ironically, Corona also smells like skunk, but if you squeeze a hefty lime wedge in it (which it should have anyway), it doesn't smell like that at all. And it's delicious. Bonus.

However, I do love the smell of fresh cut grass, pine trees in the mountains and burning logs in the fireplace.

I also really like the smell of my new shampoo.

UPDATE:  I also love the smell of coconut. It always reminds me of the beach... And then I get whisked away in my mind to a happy, warm, sandy place where I fit into my teeny bikini with hardly any suntan lines, the warmth of the sun on my tummy, the sound of waves crashing into the shore, and a tall, dark, handsome native offering me a mai-tai in a thick Jamaican accent. Just sayin'.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pooder

Actually, it's Poudre, but that's how you pronounce it. (Ok. I admit. I'm completely immature. It makes me laugh. Why? Because it has "poo" in it.)

Went for a morning hike in the Poudre Canyon. It was good to get a little exercise in fresh mountain air. The weather was perfect - breezy and warm. There were several others out hiking, as well, including a group of 4 with as many dogs, all who had little bells on them. (If you're a hiker, you'll know why they put bells on the dogs, but I couldn't help but think of Santa Clause....which then made me think of Buddy the Elf, which then made me think of my friend Dale, who is Buddy the Elf incarnate. Dale would have liked this hike, especially because these little dogs all had bells on them. The whole scenario made me smile. That's just how my mind works.)









I was made for wide open spaces.

** The pictures were taken with my cell phone, and don't do the landscape any justice. Still not bad, eh? 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wine trumps ice cream

I was just thinking about how long it has been since I've had ice cream. It's really the only thing I have a sweet tooth for. But it has been a really long time since I've had any. I used to have a bowl at least once a week... or... more....  How sad is this? Well... probably better off. The lack of ice cream consumption is most likely at least partially to blame for shedding some Oregon flabbery. So... I guess in that respect, yea for me.

What I miss in ice cream, I'm making up for in wine. Yum. Not a bad trade.

Welp... That's all I got tonight.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A few of my favorite love story movie lines and the movies that go with them

"What is it about love that makes us so stupid?"


"By the way, would telling you now that I want sex tonight be enough of a warning?"





"It's only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons can be found. I'm only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am... you are all my reasons."


 
"Just admit it. You love her more."
"No. Not more, Lowenstein. Only longer."




"I love the mornings! I clap my hands every morning and say, 'This is gonna be a great day!'"





"What we do in life echoes in eternity."

 
"I would like a lifetime spent with an irrational and suspicious goddess, some short-tempered jealousy on the side, and a bottle of wine that tastes like you, a glass that's never empty."





 
"I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives."


"I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I've led a common life.
There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten,
but in one respect I've succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I've loved another with all my heart and soul and for me that has always been enough."


"You are thinking of your little stone cottage?"
"It's on a hillside next to a beautiful vineyard. But that's not really what I'm thinking about."
"What are you thinking about?"
"You"


"Thinking about you could get me killed."



And my all-time favorite:


"I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for.
None of the fools you've ever known have kissed you like this, have they?"

Seriously? Who doesn't want to make out wtih Clark Gable? I mean.... back in the day... Cuz... he's dead. And I'm not all that interested in making out with a dead guy. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ordinary Adventures

It's freakin' chilly outside. Came home to a fire in the fireplace. True story. Ahhh, cozy.

Sitting here in the dark with my glass of wine, Jason Wade on Pandora, candles lit all over...

I love wine. I have to admit I miss all the vineyards in Oregon. It was so nice to just wake up some Saturday morning and decide to go vineyard hopping and wine tasting. I could spend an entire day visiting vineyards and hardly travel 15 miles. They're just everywhere. I've heard (several times now) about the wine in Colorado. Apparently there are vineyards on the western slope, but... I have yet to travel there to check it out. That would be a treat, though. (Anyone up for a road trip?)

There were a few little flakes of snow falling this evening. And so it begins... We missed the snow, and... well... here it comes. I'm sure by March we'll be saying, "That's too much. That's too much f-ing snow." But, as it stands, I'm looking forward to it. I actually want to shovel my door step. (It is really stupid of me to have written this. I'm sure that I will now be the sole door step shoveler. Shoot.) I want to make snow angels... in front of the drive-thru window at Starbucks. (My spousal unit paid me a dollar to do this last year. I would have done it for free.) I want to chuck firmly packed snowballs right at Scott's neck. I'm not gonna lie. He's an ass. He deserves it. I'm just sayin'. Unfortunately for me, this means paybacks tenfold, which usually means a full body-slam and/or face plant into a pile of snow, with a decent chance of getting a bloody nose from either 1) the impact, b) the cold, or 3) both. But... it would totally be worth it.

I want to get up early in the morning, while the snow is still falling gently, and be the first to make tracks, hearing the crunch of the snow under the weight of my footsteps.  I want to lay on my back and feel the chill of snowflakes landing on my eyelashes.

I wonder if I'll need to plug my car in here... I never knew about that until I lived in Montana.

When it's 40 below zero, there's a good chance your car won't start without it.

The unknown.  I love experiencing things for the first time.  Especially when those experiences take your breath away.

I love to savor every moment - drinking it all in and burning it onto the walls of my memory.

Adventures! Like... traveling to new places. I've seen some pretty amazing places, but there are so many others that I'd love to visit. And I don't mean just spending a day or two on some whirlwind vacation to 6 different countries in 14 days. I mean, spending a good two weeks or more in one location - several times a year. Or... ideally, spending an entire year (or more) traveling, immersing myself into the culture, visiting with the locals and perhaps making a friend or two in the process. Like bellying up to a pub in Ireland, gathering around a piano and signing American showtunes. (My aunt & uncle have done this... I'm so envious.)  Or sitting at a tiny little wrought iron table with a bottle of wine, overlooking a beautiful hillside vineyard in Italy. Or trying on puffy sweaters with big snowflakes on it in Switzerland.
Or admiring priceless pieces of art at the Louvre in Paris. Or... sitting at the end of a long dock with my feet dangling in the Mississippi.

I don't care how close or how far, I want to see it all. Taste it all. Experience all of it. Making an ordinary day an extraordinary memory.

Every day is an adventure if you look for it. Like sitting at a Starbucks for two hours with a friend answering questions you've never been asked before. Or offering a hug to someone who just looks like they needed one. Or helping a stranger who had a flat tire at a busy intersection. Or just gazing into each other's eyes and somehow knowing exactly what the other is thinking and feeling without a word being spoken.

Life is too short to let those moments pass by. I like to keep my eyes open. I'd hate to miss something that could have been meaningful.

Update: Spousal unit just told me that if I even come close to chucking a firmly packed snowball at his neck, I'll be seeing white for the next month, followed by, "That's a good way to Piss. Me. Off."

Just for the record, I still think it would be worth it. **diabolical laughing"  His empty threats do not sway me in the slightest.

Update: Spousal unit just said, "I'm really fast in the snow. I'm like a friggen magical leopard. I practically run on top of the snow."

Um... even not being a magical leopard, would you still not run on top of the snow? I mean, You wouldn't be running underneath it. I'm just sayin'.

Update:  Spousal unit just said, "What's important is the magical leopard part."

My response: Which part would that be?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Colorado Sucks

My friend, Twinkie, was in town this weekend. I took her up to Estes Park on Saturday to give her a glimpse of Colorado in all its autum glory. This place is beautiful.

She spent only 3 days here... and she fell in love with it. She is going to try to convince her son and his family to move here.

Colorado has that effect on people.

But don't tell anyone.We don't want to let the secret out. In fact, if anyone asks, tell them it sucks.  Tell them the weather is horrible - all the time. Especially this time of year. There's no color to speak of. Grumpy people everywhere. The air smells like cow poo (which, sometimes, is the actual truth). There's nothing to do. Terrible restaurants. No place to hike or camp or hunt or fish or ski....  You're better off staying where you are and leaving Colorado for us weird people.

That's what you tell them.


And for God's sake, don't show them these pictures. They will know you're a big, fat liar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Embracing snow

There was a chill in the air today. It wasn't just the breeze, or the leaves cascading from the tree tops, dancing and fluttering on their way to the ground, or the rain that fell. There was just a hush that seemed to say autumn will soon be welcoming snow.

I love the snow. I love rising early after a heavy snow, and greeting the morning light, long before most people would ever think of leaving their cozy slumber. The world has never been so silent. Even the wind is muffled. There is just such a peacefulness and beauty.

I love bundling up under layers of cotton and down, wrapping myself in ribbons of fabric and breathing in the frosty air. When you're in such frigid temperatures, you can feel the chill run through your nose, down your throat, filling your lungs. It's so refreshing!

Everyone should make a snow angel, at least once.

And everyone should own a pair of mittens. 

I love mittens! Gloves are nice, especially if using your fingers is necessary, but there is something about the mitten that just reminds me of childlike joy.





Mittens are sleeping bags for the fingers. Ever snuggled in a sleeping bag? There's such a coziness and romance in squeezing two grown adults into a one person sack. There really is no other alternative than to be entwined together. And what better way to rebuke a chilly night than to get tangled up in a mass of arms and legs, and breathy, lingering kisses.

Ahhh, beautiful, peaceful, delicate snow. I await your homecoming.

For the love of bacon

If you know me even a little bit, you'd know that I have an extraordinary love for bacon. I just simply can't get enough of it. It's like my version of crack. I do all I can to avoid it for some period of time, but just like an addict, I suddenly obsess and must have, lest I die.

I am blessed to have friends that share the same bacon compulsion. My lovely Giovanna, for instance. We actually sat at Bible Study for at least 20 minutes sharing just a few of the ways we love bacon. If you had been there, it would have reminded you of the scene(s) in Forrest Gump where Bubba was telling Forrest all the ways he could make shrimp.  That was us. "You can barbecue it, bake it, boil it, saute it. Dey's uh, bacon-kabobs, baconcreole, bacon gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple bacon, lemon bacon, coconut bacon, pepper bacon, bacon soup, bacon stew, bacon salad, bacon and potatoes, bacon burger, bacon sandwich..."  And, really, much more than shrimp, the list goes on. Bacon is like the color black. It goes with everything.

Even chocolate.

You laugh in disgust, but trust me on this.

For one of our Friday night BS potlucks (which was every Friday, mind you), we decided to go with a bacon theme. (Why, you ask? Because Giovanna and I, oh and of course Dale (aka Buddy the Elf) frickin' love the stuff. And our fellow BSers were ok with feeding our addiction. Enablers!) Everything we ate that night had bacon in it in some form. (See prior list.)  For dessert, we had banana splits (or sundaes, depending on how the individual fixed it up.)  I had my bowl of ice cream topped with bananas and a waterfall of chocolate. As I was leaving the kitchen, someone tossed a piece of bacon over  my shoulder, which stuck smack-dab in the middle of my sundae. A crispy, perfectly browned piece of bacon. I just looked at it and thought, "This must not go to waste. I will eat this tasty morsel."

And I did.

And guess what? Bacon and melty dark chocolate is a delicious combination.

The other day, my friend and co-worker Jen (JENNNNNNNN!!!!!!) offered the Chief and I a taste of a bacon chocolate bar she had picked up on the East Coast when she was on vacation. Now... I'm a girl with a taste for bacon. I love the stuff.

But let me tell you, this was not good. It pretty much just tasted like super-salted chocolate with some bizarre little pieces of shredded, semi-crunchy, floaty things in it. Yuck. Seriously. Yuck.  But... it got a good laugh. So, yeah. Jen, thanks for that.

Freshly cooked, crunchy bacon dipped in freshly melted dark chocolate = really good.

Manufactured, shredded bacon mixed with dark chocolate, cooled and wrapped, then shipped to various places and sitting on a shelf for who knows how long before some unsuspecting consumer purchases it for a few giggles = not good.


Giovanna often left me bacon "stuff" in my mailbox at work. I'd go to collect my daily mail, and I'd find a nicely wrapped gift offering of ... bacon dental floss, bacon air freshener, bacon breath mints....  She shared links to websites that had recipes for bacon martinis....  I love this girl. And, together, we love bacon. 

My friend Catherine ("Twinkie") is in town for the weekend. She brought me a lovely gift bag filled with....  4 pounds of bacon. (And two jars of red grapefruit segments... Yum.)  Back to bacon. FOUR pounds!!!  She loves me. She really loves me.

Four packages of bacon.
All for me.


Someday, maybe I'll manage my bacon addiction.

I could quit at any time.

But not today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daddy

I went to a funeral today.

There was a fella who stood up and told a story about a dream that he had about the gal who passed. It was obvious that he was troubled - but not in a bad way.

As he spoke, it reminded me of a dream I had about my dad right before my 21st birthday. My father passed away when I was 8 years old (from esophageal cancer).

I could write all day about my dad. But... today I'm going to write about my dream.

In order for this to really make any sense, you have to know that I was very close with my dad. I was his little baby; daddy's little girl. He died far too young - at 44. There was a moment before he died when I was sitting on his lap and he was reading me the Sunday funnies. He stopped mid-comic and started to weep. I remember this like it was yesterday. Through his tears he whimpered almost breathlessly, "I don't want to die."  I don't think because he was particularly afraid of death. I think he just didn't want to leave his family. He didn't want to leave me.

It wasn't until I was a teen when it really hit me. Holy shit, I don't have a dad! At a time when all my other friends would have "dates" with their dads, or their dads would take them shopping for prom dresses and shoes and take pictures of their first date. This is pretty traumatic when you're 16. I used to get so angry with my friends when they would fight with their dads. I just never understood having that kind of time. If only they knew how it could be gone in a second.

Oh, I longed to know him. I missed him so much. My favorite time of day growing up was when he would walk through the door at the end of the day, "'Ello, 'ello, 'ello!!!"  I'd drop whatever I was doing, run down the hall and literally leap into his arms. I felt so safe there. He held me close, his beard tickling my neck. The world could have crumbled apart right then and there and it wouldn't have mattered to me. He was my hero.

I would have given anything for one more day with him. I still would.

I'm not sure why I dreamt this, but I'd like to think it was God's way of helping me let go. Helping me say goodbye.

I dreamt that I was back on Ridgewood Hill - the little hill outside of Corvallis, Oregon where I grew up in a house that my dad designed and built. (He was an architect.)  I was actually down the hill a bit from our house, at one of my childhood friend's homes. It had this long driveway lined with a canopy of tall pine trees. I just remember turning around and seeing my dad there. He looked so happy. So healthy. So full of life. So different from the years before he died because he was so, so sick. I was thrilled to see him.  I wrapped my arms around his neck, which was easier now because I was grown. He told me how beautiful I was and how proud of me he was.

He told me he didn't have much time. I didn't really understand what he meant.

We talked. We laughed. We held hands.

Then I heard the sound of a train coming. And I knew it was coming for him.

I fell to my knees. I begged him not to go. I wept and held on to his pant leg screaming, "NooOOOOO!!!!!", looking up at him from way down there and feeling like I was 8 again. He just smiled so tenderly and said it was time. He lifted me into his arms, just as the train was pulling up. He kissed me, told me he loved me, and said it would be ok. I didn't want to but I knew I had to let him go. I watched him board the train. He turned towards me, smiled again and blew me a kiss. I just sat there on my knees as I watched the train pull away, all the while he was waving and smiling at me.

I woke up sobbing. More than sobbing. I was moaning. My heart was bleeding. I cannot describe the reality of that dream. I felt him. I could smell him (Old Spice). I still felt the warmth of his embrace.  I could still hear the sound of the train as it chugged away ringing in my ears.

That was the last time I saw him.

I've had dreams of him since then, but nothing like that.

I've been blessed by people who knew my dad. I love when people tell me what kind of man he was, how he was thought of as a friend, a son, a brother. I love when people look at me and say, "You look just like your father." What an honor.

And, boy, do I! I have his eyes... I have his eyebrows, even down to the way the little hairs grow. If you were to place our pictures side by side, there is no question that I came from him.

I've been told not only am I the spitting image of my dad, but I am practically the female replica. I have all of his characteristics, his stubborn willfulness. His ambition. His temper. (Among many others.)

I knew that if ever I had a son, he would carry my father's name. Jeffrey Allen. Jeffrey after his uncle (Scott's brother) and Allen after my dad.

And I always prayed that if God blessed me with a son, that he, too, would look like my dad.

God answered my prayed. He gave me a son. In fact, from the moment I learned I was pregnant, having a son was the only option in my mind. We never did discuss girls' names.

The day Jeffrey was born, I held that tiny little boy in my arms. Gazed at him... and realized Jeffrey looks nothing like my dad. I love that Jeffrey looks like his dad (that'd be Scott, if you're following along). However, I have to admit that I was disappointed that he didn't carry really any resemblance to my dad.  Not even in the eyes.

Damn.

As Jeffrey started growing and developing his little personality, it dawned on me one day. He may not look a thing like my dad, but guess what? He has his personality. The same stubborn willfulness, ambition, temper.... 

I prayed for a son that gave me some piece of my dad. I don't know why I was so wrapped up in the physical attributes. What I got is far better.

I miss my dad. There isn't a day that passes when I don't think of him. I see him every time I look in the mirror. And I see him every time I watch my son interact with the world.

I'm grateful for that.

And I'm still grateful for that dream that gave me one last moment with my dad.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blank

Nope. I got nothin'.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More

Ever wish you had more time?

More time in the present... More time in passing moments....

More time with people you enjoy spending your time with...

More time for honesty to happen....

More time for the words to be found...

I wish I had that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Faded

People are funny. They never cease to amaze and confuse me.

A few years back, I made (what I thought was) a good friend. We had a lot in common. We had a few laughs. People often commented about how alike we were - like sisters. Then God put it on my heart to ask her if she was interested in becoming accountability partners - basically to discuss what is happening in our lives, past and present, and help one another hold true to our faith in the way we handle life's offerings. We would meet once a month or so, and just kind of unload on each other. Sometimes we just helped each other find words for our "stuff."  Sometimes we held each other to the fire.  Then we would pray for each other.

At that time, I was pretty uncomfortable praying out in front of other people. I think some people can do that naturally. Others of us have to work through some self-conscious baggage before we're able to really intercede without concerning ourselves with the "perfect" words or the "perfect" prayer.

I think back on that now and kind of have to laugh. I mean, what's there to be self-conscious about? I love praying for other people. I find great joy in having God nudge me and ask me to stop and pray for someone. I've never once had someone say, "No, thank you." Most people welcome the opportunity to be prayed for.

Anyway... I digress.

This lasted a year or so. I shared things about myself that I have never shared with anyone. And I mean anyone.  I shared things that maybe a small handful of others know about. The point is that I opened myself up a great deal to allow her into the deepest parts of my heart in the hopes that through it, I would grow closer to Christ. And the same for her.

I don't know what happened. I have my guesses. But... through a series of events, we sort of drifted. We're no longer friends. Not because I wouldn't want to be. I would. I still love her dearly. I was honored to know her and to share in her life's journey. I know things about her that I'm sure very few others know. I saw a very sad, broken, troubled part of her soul.  (Which, come to think of it, was how we first connected. I saw a lot of sadness behind her smiles. I wrote her an email once and just spoke a few words of honesty, to which she replied, "You're a very perceptive young lady.")  I tried talking to her about where we stood on a couple of occasions, but... to no avail. It was just lost. And I don't know for sure why.  When I left Oregon, there was hardly a goodbye.

This makes me sad on a number of levels.

I am pretty discerning about with whom I share my deepest parts. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I've chosen wisely.

It feels good to make a new friend. But it sure is disappointing when a friend (new or old) sort of fades away, especially when there is no explanation.

Honesty goes a long way with me. Some people just don't have that same ideal. Maybe they're afraid of the honesty. Maybe they're afraid of the vulnerability.  Maybe it's something else altogether.

Space is a big deal with me, too. Sometimes relationships build so quickly that you just need to take a step back and evaluate where you are. I don't like being smothered, and I certainly don't want to be the one doing the smothering.

Certainly, two friends can drift apart. But I still think they owe it to one another to be honest.

I just never understand silence. I also don't understand cursory conversations where once something much more rich existed, even in the way we greeted one another.

My friends will always know where I stand.

But, hey, that's cool.

For the first time...

For the first time in almost 4 years, I'm able to slip my wedding ring off without 30 minutes of twisting and tugging with hot water and super-slippy soap.

This is a far cry from almost having to cut it off when I was pregnant with Eden because I was so bulbous.

Nice to have thin fingers again... which is just a result of dropping all this Oregon flabbery that has weighed me down for eight years.

**Happy dance**

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A few things I love


Breakfast for dinner
Crsip, clean, white sheets

Kicking up leaves in the fall


Tender, yet passionate kisses


Conservative and stylish clothes

Bubble baths by candlelight


A great pair of cotton pajamas to lounge around in


Lingering hugs that last all morning

Carrying my babies

Polished fingers and toes
Relaxing massage (giving and receiving)

A glass of wine in the evening

A pair of shoes that make me feel sexy

Smelling good
Dancing in my living room

Gerbera daisies
Puppy kisses
Fuzzy socks