Toots abandoned her Valentine necklaces before preschool.
Looks like I get to wear them today.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Be kind to those you love.
Lucy was a good girl. We thought we would have a lot more time with her, but her immune system attacked her suddenly, and we said goodbye today. It is very surreal.
We lost our old kitty Babette not so very long ago, and suddenly, too.
Toots has asked already if we are getting another dog. Honey said to me separately, please can we wait a little while this time to mourn her. We adopted Sasha 10 days after we lost Babette suddenly a few months ago.
Mr. Cynic is presenting stoically, Captain Comic seems okay, and keeps coming over to hug me and make me feel better.
I’m just teary and a bit in shock.
Creativity is running rampant around here.
I got sick over the end of last week, and it laid me out pretty thoroughly on Saturday. My family was kind enough to cater to me in bed while I watched back episodes of Dr. Who on the Tablet.
But then, yesterday morning, I got down to business and cranked out
- composed over several hours with infinite interruptions because it was a day off from school and Captain Comic had to ask me a gazillion questions like, “Who do you think would win in a fight, Batman or Goku?” or tell me his next movie or comic idea, which was a new one about every minute and a half -
a query letter and sent the first ten pages to the first agent on my list. Today I plan to send it out to two more. Tomorrow and Thursday another each and that is where I will leave it for a little while.
I was invited to send this poem to a newsletter where a bunch of friends will see it.
Captain Comic drew this up for his coach (see #4 in this post) to approve before making a poster.
Mr. Cynic has loaded his next professionally produced song.
This song was his productive response to his brother being bullied at school last year. Considering some of the lyrics, I am really glad he has music for a creative outlet. I remember well his reaction when he found out what was going on before it was resolved. Mr. Cynic looks like a pretty cool cucumber most of the time, but he is extremely passionate about any kind of injustice, and this was brother.
I don’t talk much about Honey’s work, but he designs staging and a bunch of his designs are currently being built around New Orleans in preparation for events surrounding the Superbowl.
Toots is always bursting with creativity. She sings little ditties about everything. When asked if she made that up, or what’s that from? She responds, “I wrote it.” She has worlds of imaginary characters she walks around the house acting out costumed scenarios with and she loves to draw and paint and dance around the house. She plays architect with anything she finds that she can put on top of something else in interesting ways, like Jenga blocks. Oh, to be four and a half years old again.
I couldn’t be happier about what my family is up to these days.
1. Yesterday I completed the fourth draft of my manuscript! I am going to start submitting query letters to agents this week.
2. I wasn’t going to have any of my readers go over it again, but I had one late offer for a fresh eye to it recently, and after thinking I shouldn’t, I went ahead and sent it to him. He is someone whose opinion re: writing is one I value, especially one for humor and action elements. I suppose I wanted to be certain those elements were present after so much reworking over so long a time. I’m nervous, but it will be good to hear what he has to say about it. To paraphrase, I basically asked him to tell me if it was crap or not. I am not up for another draft at this point.
3. Captain Comic did not wrestle in last night’s home tournament, but he did last a good long time supporting his team in a loud gym, and he did a good job assisting setting up. Ear plugs helped.
4. One of the coaches asked him to draw up a poster concept of a wrestler hugging a cactus. He did two versions as soon as he got home. Both were good. He is an excellent artist with a lot of humor inherent in his work.
5. While at the tournament, I was talking with another parent who suggested I contact the other closest high school in case a paraprofessional position opens up. His sister works in the special ed department there and he said he’d put a good word in for me.
6. I did. There is a little more to this story, but I have a good feeling about it and some things are best left to happen organically rather than discuss so much.
7. Mr. Cynic had a quick turnaround from his application to Berklee College of Music, his first choice, and his audition is in 10 days!
8. In the meantime, we all have colds, and it seems like it has been raining for eternity. The colds aren’t too bad, and the rain should help restore the water table from the recent summer droughts, and it hasn’t been a monsoon to flood, as how it usually seems to occur in recent years. But it sure would be nice if Mr. Sun would peak out from a cloud once in a while.
Things are moving right along for many in our family, and it feels good. The past few years, even with all the mayhem, has felt rather stagnant, and it’s nice to feel like progress can happen.
My oldest, known here as Mr. Cynic, has shown desire and talent for music since he was a baby, but didn’t really start to do anything with it until he started taking bass lessons at 14.
This is three years later. He wrote all the music lines, plays them all, except the drum tracks are prerecorded sounds, and he sings the lyrics he wrote, too.
I couldn’t be prouder. I always knew he had it in him, and am nicely surprised by what he is doing with it. He really rocks and has alt rock commercial appeal. Yes, I am his mother, but it is true.
This is his audition piece for Berklee College of Music.
Jets fly overhead, blasting us with noise,
Rumbling our bones, and we tune that out, too.
But a birdsong, a flit, an unseasonal aah!
So tiny, so inconsequential
to starting the car and rushing about,
I cannot let it go.
Lately, I have tried, but an unfamiliar bird,
white stripe by his eye has crossed my path so many times,
as if to say, hello! I am here!
Don’t you want to know me?
So much so, that yes, yes I do.
In this age of instant gratification, I go searching on the internet,
And wish I knew where my ornithology book was,
wish I had to hunt through the library for Audubon’s giant tome,
lug the tome to a table and flip the illustrated pages,
smell the musty age of pages,
just to slow down a bit more because
don’t we need this?
Don’t we need to be wrong and curious,
don’t we need to stop, light up,
don’t we need to let go of this rubberband life
and be present for an hour, a minute, a day?
We live too much for our slow DNA souls
and a bird needs us to wink
And say hello, because he is singing
the universe’s song in our backyards.
We need to feel the breeze,
even in winter, blow through our hair,
not because we create a wake of it behind us,
but because we must live in it now
to know the world goes on without us.
We are not so important as a white throated sparrow.
I must stop, hear his cheery, melancholy
Old Sam Peabody, Peabody.
Old Sam Peabody, Peabody.
Because to take this moment,
this reminder to live,
to know joy and love in a birdsong, a flit,
Captain Comic and friends when left to their own devices while their mothers were occupied elsewhere came up with this little gem. Not bad for 14, almost 13 and 10!
Yes, the mics are off.
Best little unintentional birthday present ever!
We went to Connecticut to visit with my parents and all the cousins between Christmas and New Year - the big post Christmas Coley Christmas, because that is the way we roll: two days in the car for a one day visit.
With the dog hopping from lap to lap.
We had lots of fun and Toots was very excited about the snow.
Toots, fresh out of the car in Connecticut, and so excited to see snow
Immediate snow angel making night of arrival
She’s just thrilled about her accomplishment
“Yummy snow is so YUMMY!”
Dawn over my parents’ back yard. I really grew up in a pretty place.
Lucy loved the snow, too.
Papa broke out the old Flexible Flyer and a slab of bacon to grease the runners.
Toots would only let me pull her up the hill. She watched me ride down and determined it was too scary after great anticipation for DAYS and the whole ride up. All she wanted to do was go sledding before the actual sledding happened.
I rode. A lot. and said, “Woohoo!!!”
Merry Christmas as well as anything else you may celebrate.
The year is winding down, and the way much of this one has gone, I’m glad to put 2012 in the rearview mirror: too many losses among friends and family, a lot of hard knocks. While I muddled through, I did remain grateful and had a lot of fun, too.
My dear old college friend, BJ Timoner is back on the road, on foot, to walk across America for Pancreatic Cancer Research. This is his second trek, he had a heart event in the middle of the heat of Texas, and got back on the road east in 2011. You can imagine just how important this is to him, that he is willing to risk his very life to raise awareness and funds again.
Please click on his link at top right to learn more and to donate. This is one of the lowest rates of early detection and one of the highest death rates of all cancers.
You likely know someone besides Steve Jobs, who has passed quickly from this disease.
Please help BJ’s efforts and donate and pass the word.
Thank you, and have a stupendous 2013!
13 has always been a lucky number in my book.
Most of my posts are rather light, focusing on the humor of raising my family and on managing to find blocks of time to write or edit what I have already written in the hopes it will one day be published.
Friday was a horrible day for us all. I know many parents hugged their children a little more, and called adult children who live far from them to tell them they love them.
For some of us, Friday was already a terrible 20th anniversary of a similar event at our small, bucolic college, where a beloved professor was taken and so was an equally wonderful student. We were memorializing Ñacuñán Sáez and Galen Gibson when Sandy Hook left us reeling.
I am not going to to get into a gun debate here, or a mental healthcare debate, I just want to acknowledge that we all are grieving with the community that is seventy one miles south of that other campus, and under thirty miles from my parents’ home, the house where I grew up.
I hold Newtown, Ct in my heart, for a long time to come.