musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “adventure”

life and stuff

Thank you for reading or following my blog. Some of you have been with me since I started it when Toots was a baby.

Things have ramped up beyond the usual mayhem in the past year, and I have been pretty spotty in my posts. At this point, I am considering at least a semi-permanent breather if not completely ending the blog in this form.

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All three kids graduated this June: Mr. Cynic from High School, Captain Comic from Middle School, and Toots from Preschool. They are all starting big things in the fall and have activities all summer.  College, High School, and Kindergarten. It’s a big time for us all.

I still take pictures almost constantly, never did upgrade to a better camera. I am still seeking a publisher for my children’s novel, and working on a couple of new projects, though my time has been very full with the kids, life and stuff that my writing focus has fallen off for a while. I’ll get back to it, just a lot of focus on the spawn these days.

Who knows? I may post an occasional poem here from time to time. Or I may decide to reorient to more of a writing blog in general.   All I know is at some point, this became something that I felt obligated to do, then couldn’t keep it up as I would have liked to.

I still get out to appreciate nature:

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I’ve just lost the focus to regularly post, and don’t want to leave you all wondering why I stopped.

Thanks for keeping me company since May 2009. Much love to you all.

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flowers


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I have been experiencing technical difficulties with my old laptop. In the meantime, I have been taking a lot of pics of flowers blooming around my yard and outside Toots’s school via Instagram as I runaround in my day to day, as I am now back to, if a bit slower than I was before my accident in March.

For some reason, I was unable to crop out the Instagram stuff in my computer programs or in WordPress. One of these days, I will figure it out. 

Anyway, things down here in Virginia have been blooming madly and sweetly and it makes me happy to see.

Also we adopted another kitty. She is teeny tiny for a 7 month old, and about a third the size of Sasha. We are at the end of her med run and quarantine for kennel cough, but she still has a stuffy nose and sneezes. Toots keeps letting her out. Cecilia is ready to explore and make friends with Sasha, but we have to contain her just a bit more. She is full of spark.

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 I can’t wait until we can let her out of Toots’s room for good. 

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My attentions are elsewhere, so I apologize for not posting consistently of late. I continue to find respite and gratitude daily while dealing with quite a bit that is beyond my control.

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Treasure moments of peace. I will be more consistent at a later time.

accidents will happen

Apologies to Elvis Costello as I give a brief update, since I really shouldn’t be sitting up at the computer:

Much has been going on here in the land of mayhem, and then a car accident, and I was hurt, no blood, no bones, but I hurt ten days later. A lot. Working on some things, and I start physical therapy on Monday.

While I was trying to heal and rest and being on meds, Mr. Cynic similarly got into another accident within days of mine. So now we have two totaled vehicles.

Working on figuring out everything, moving forward, while trying not to move, but the mayhem continues, and so must I. But I shouldn’t quite yet.

I can laugh about some of this, but it hurts. But the good news is I can laugh.

Writing is currently on hold, except I decided to toss the sermon I was working on for months and had several drafts. That’s right, chucking it completely. After the two car accidents, I found “the piercing arrow” that is discussed in writing circles. Now I have about two weeks to get it right. It’s okay, most of my better work has been produced under the pressure of a deadline. It’s epiphanous.

As Samuel Beckett said,

I must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

 

 

 

 

 

not exactly quiet

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately.

The obvious place to start is with my grief over the loss of our dear sweet Lucy. It was so sudden, I think I’ve only begun to process it. I am not in a complete fog, walking through molasses and crying at the drop of a hat now. I think it piggybacked our autumn loss of Babette, which was within a week of the loss of my mother’s last living sister, and I couldn’t make it to the funeral. I lost a couple weeks of normal, quieter in some ways. In the meantime, we have been busier than usual in others.

Wrestling season ended for Captain Comic, but not before the number of hours spent in gyms across the Bay Rivers District increased exponentially.
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I am proud of him for trying hard, and always being game for a tough 1st season in the sport. Next year, maybe he’ll win a match from time to time.

Mr Cynic and I have been traveling to colleges and auditions for their music departments and Scholars Competitions, etc. and to have a look around. That has been a couple of adventures in traveling to Boston and to western Virginia.  That has been a bit of roller coaster of pressure, comic mayhem, not so comic mayhem, seeing good friends and my niece, sleeping on sofas, floors,  random beds and hotel rooms. We crossed many bridges, literally and figuratively.

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In the meantime, he has been involved in the Bay Rivers District Choir, and auditioned and won a spot in the All-Virginia Choir! The performance for that is the same weekend as his birthday in Richmond, at the end of April.

Toots is forever Toots, and a spark in our lives, and she apparently has a preschool boyfriend. I told her teacher on Valentine’s Day, that when I asked her who she loves after writing the family valentines, she answered, “D—?” sheepishly, knowing she should have said at least one family member in the context of the conversation. It was adorable. She also has been wanting to invite him over for sleepovers for a couple of months now.  The teacher cracked up and then told me she is always trying to get them to sit with other friends or at recess to play with other friends, but the two of them are stuck like glue everyday. I asked Toots at one point what she likes about D– so much and she answered, “because he is kind.” I couldn’t be happier, honestly, that she has found a best friend who is kind regardless of gender.

She has also been getting into trouble a lot at home, but she is approaching five, seeking independence or when we are preoccupied, seeking attention by plugging the sink, flooding the bathroom and soaking herself from head to toe. Or by poking the bear: Captain Comic, by doing the exact things she knows will trigger a negative response from him. Kazoos and pennywhistles she earns for good behavior in preschool are a big tool of torture for the noise sensitive Aspie.

But she is still our girl and how could we ever stay mad at this:

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One day, I will remember to hold this smartphone horizontally while recording…

Meanwhile, in the writing department, I have started sending out queries to agents, and the rejections have started coming in. At least I’m starting at the top:

1st rejection

off the rails

Since Captain Comic’s wrestling started, my schedule, as well as stuff for all of my progeny, has officially gone off the rails.

I’ve managed to hold the reins of the runaway train for a good long while and at least keep it on the track, but that time is over.

The horse power has run amuck. So amuck is that horse power that my train metaphor has turned into a wild stampede.

Yesterday, was a no school day, which SHOULD have slowed things down a little, but no.

I was going to take Captain Comic in for lab work early in the morning because he had to fast and so he would not miss school.

I told him not to eat anything at least 12 times between the night before and yesterday morning, then suddenly, from another room, my awareness grew of the sound of a spoon clinking rhythmically in a cereal bowl.

So that was out.

I was supposed to go to a preschool Parent-Teacher Conference for Toots at 9:30, but that went off my radar sometime before the lab work fiasco.

I took Captain Comic to see a dermatologist to deal with his acne, during which time, Grandma dropped Mr. Cynic off at work, which was after his driving lesson that I made him come home earlier from, because  I wasn’t certain when Grandma was due back in the house to look after Toots while I was the Captain’s appointment.

Then I had to drop off prescriptions, which weren’t going to be ready for lalala time, so then I drove Captain Comic to the late wrestling practice which was a workout equivalent to two days worth in two hours. It was awesome, and it completely wore him out.

This overlapped into my belly dance class I usually attend on Monday evenings, which was going to make me late for a one shot gardening class in another town which i really wanted to attend to help me with soil PH balancing, which is something I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with since my move south.

By the time I got home from wrestling and picking up the prescriptions, and stuffed some food in me, I knew there was something I was forgetting, but didn’t see the email that I missed the gardening class til this morning, which was around when Honey glanced at the calendar and saw the PTC appointment for yesterday morning.

It’s okay, though, because I still had to pick Mr. Cynic up from bagging groceries at 8pm, right in the middle of the gardening class. And then I was reminded that the few of us who are friends who were going to attend the class together had planned, at my inspiration, to go for margaritas after the class.

I was notified there was dancing.

So that was yesterday, which included the cat box being so neglected our new kitty has taken to using the space next to it to pee, which is under the desk in the garage where Captain Comic has his Art Studio, the floor of which is covered in tiny scraps of paper I asked him to sweep up last night. I need to hide the scissors from that boy again.

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So this morning, I woke up extra early (5:30) stuffed some coffee in my face, told Mr. Cynic to take the bus instead of walk to school before dawn in the pummeling rain, and drove the Capt to get his lab work done before school, hit Starbucks to get him some breakfast, dropped him off at school with a bottle of water and told him to refill it at least three times so that he might make calibration at wrestling this afternoon, and zipped home before Honey had to go to work, thank goodness, or he was going to drive Toots to me at the Labcorp near his office.

Then I started laundry, cleaned the cat box, the mess around the cat box and washed the dog.

Then I ate my lonely three hour old croissant from Starbucks while typing this and grinding my teeth from the latte after the two home mugs earlier, and now i am trying to sort out in my head how i am going to make it throught the rest of today, organize the Time Space Continuum in relation to my family, called Honey to tell him I may cry or have a breakdown today, and then there is college application process to stay on top of with Mr. Cynic, a new hygiene and med regimen for Captain Comic, a driving lesson, a bass lesson, and a parent meeting for the wrestling team when we usually eat dinner….

And nano? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAahahahahaa….

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Shucks, I have neglected posting pics and telling stories from Halloween adventures, etc, but….

I swore I was never going to do it again.

I swore this is process is not conducive to how I write.

I have tried this little challenge twice before and only driven myself crazy while mayhem increased ten-fold around here with household epidemics of flu and colds and viruses galore.

I swore I learned my lesson and would never do it again under any circumstances.

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Yet, after professing much cheerleaderness to many friends who are participating, I got a waft of its heady perfume and became transfixed. On Day 2.

So I am a few thousand words behind, swore I will just use it to play, but in playing, I think I really do have something worth pursuing, and it’s another children’s novel.

What is wrong with me?!

Well, nothing really, I was bogged down in the edits of my ongoing manuscript, and I craved a little more creative freedom.

I am using it to get back in the habit of daily writing, of exercising my imagination, and I do not care if I make the 1667 words per day that nano made me insane with before.

Now the only thing driving me crazy is that I can only focus on the joy of this new little story in bits and pieces throughout my days of Continuous Interruptus.  And a little guilt that I am not wholly focused on the old project to finish its Draft 4.

But it’s not a lot of guilt. I feel like this is going to free up my brain a little bit so that when I do focus on the other project, I can be more creative where I’ve been stuck for so long.

Besides, I usually only give those edits a few hours once or twice a week at most lately even before Nanowrimo.

Why not add to the mayhem? At least this time, it’s for me.

after sandy

Hampton Roads, Virginia was supposed to be hit with an anvil with this storm. It was hit pretty hard, especially in flood zones. Overall, though, not as hard hit as the 100 years storm with no name a while back. Friends I expected to flood are all fine as far as I have heard. We’re fine. Cooped up for a couple of days, but fine.

All of my Connecticut family is fine, too, but without power. Not bad considering they are pretty much all in coastal towns, but one brother’s family, and he’s close enough and has plenty of potentially damaging trees.

Friends in other areas like NYC are reporting damages and power outages, but people are fine overall. Some are heart broken for their homes and blocks where families have lived for generations.

I am grateful that most of those I know seem to have weathered this weird weather – Hurricane, Tropical Storm, huge swath of of an ocean spiral Sandy – well.

Now we wait for the power to come back for much of the Eastern Seaboard, and count our blessings.

 

 

mayhem, good

Again, we have had a lot – a . LOT. – going on around here, so I will make this short and sweet and add a gallery of a few highlights via cell phone pics.

Last week, I threw Captain Comic into JV Wrestling at the high school. He is taking to it better than a fish to water, his enthusiasm fills me with pride and joy. He is still awkward and funny as he is learning, but he is challenging the toughest biggest guys repeatedly during these couple of pre-season conditioning weeks. Even the Varsity guys are proud of him. The coaches are great with him.

Thursday was Toots’s Pumpkin Farm Field Trip with her preschool class.

This weekend we went on a Fellowship Retreat up in the hills at Pocahontas State Park. It was beautiful, we canoed, roasted marshmallows and froze our tuckuses in the drafty cabins in summer weight sleeping bags. We saw Great Blue Herons, turtles, and a snake climbing a tree. The snake posed best for pictures. Toots was talking about going fishing endlessly from before the trip, and I kept responding that I didn’t know if that was going to happen, maybe someone would have a pole she could use. As it turns out, she found a young boy and his dad fishing at the docks when we went canoeing. The boy was about eight years old and very patiently showed her how to hook a worm and repeatedly dropped a line from the docks, for her to watch fish nibble at the worm. He even caught a sunny at one point, and let her hold it. She was in seventh heaven.

Sunday, we came back in time for the Wrestling Team photo shoot. I didn’t realize Captain Comic didn’t even know what a singlet was. 🙂 I love that there is a girl on their team.

I took all photos with a cellphone. It should be in order of Pumpkin Patch, Pocahontas State Park then Wrestling, but I think things got a little jumbled in the upload. For instance, the yellow leaf on the step of our cabin should be horizontal, not a vertical shot. Toots and Mr. Cynic are sleeping in the car on the ride home Sunday morning, we canoed on Satuday afternoon.

A friend from my fellowship took my boys out canoeing Saturday morning, and brought back a tale of a killer beaver, GNAWS, parodying JAWS that he said the three of them came up with and laughed about the whole time they were canoeing. Apparently he GNAWS trees to fall on campers…It’s funnier when they tell it.

We had a great weekend. I hope you did, too.

 

 

 

 

parenting 301

Saturday night, at Busch Gardens  Hall-O-Scream, Captain Comic is nearly out of his skin as we head into The Roots of Evil Scare Maze. However, Toots, 10 years his junior declares, “I’m fine, Mom.” Hands on hips. “Dere’s no such sfing as weal ghosts!”

Once inside, Captain Comic and I lose sight of Honey and Toots immediately, and we make our way through lots of hanging damp misty, spooky things. He squinches his eyes shut and walks through with his head down and his shoulders in his ears, anticipating Scarers jumping out at every step. I talk him through it. “It’s less scary if you open your eyes. You can see them before they jump. Lift your head, Open your eyes. Here comes a corner, someone might jump.” In the meantime he is screaming like a 3 year old girl, I am laughing til I am wheezing and a few Scarers understand. He really is enjoying this even though he seems like he may have a heart attack at the ripe old age of 14. So they jump again.

Later, Toots and Honey make it out. Captain Comic and I are catching our breath, me, from laughter, him from utter anxiety and excitement. I am still laughing, Captain is laughing, too, while holding his heart. “Oh boy. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life!” He chuckles again, I am hooting. I declare him the funniest person in the world to go through a haunted maze with.

Toots’s eyes are saucers, and she is clinging to Honey’s shoulder for dear life. Honey declares no one even jumped at them.

Later, we find some kiddie rides and the carousel to bring everyone back to a normal happy state. Toots is riding the horse ride in Scotland, just prior to our exit. She looks like she is falling asleep in the saddle. Captain is standing next to me, swinging from the fence, in a rocking motion. He is not typically a rocker in the Autism behavior spectrum, he’s more of pacer and hugger.

Me: Are you Okay, buddy?

Capt: Nnnnot really. I’m still traumatized from earlier.

He laughs about it with me. He’s going to be fine.

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Sunday evening, Mr. Cynic and I attend a show at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, a great jazz Big Band, called The Birdland. Please check if they are going to be playing anywhere near you. This is a live music experience that you should not miss. They are an incredible ensemble of musicians and they bring down the house!

Back to my story: So we get in the car, it is raining, it’s a cold night for southern Virginia. If you don’t know, we moved from Massachusetts in 2006, when Mr. Cynic was 11 years old, now 17.

I look at his short sleeves in the passenger seat.

Me: Really, Bud, no jacket?

Mr. Cynic: This is the weather of my Homeland.

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Monday morning I spend in a frustrating chase of info regarding scholarship deadlines, etc for Mr. Fall of Senior Denial, with whom I had such wonderful time the night before. I also simultaneously am scheduling out the rest of my already insane week, when I track down that JV Wrestling, for which  Captain Comic is now eligible as an 8th grader has already started pre-season conditioning practices. He can start NOW– at the same time I need to drop Mr. Cynic at work at the grocery and pick up Toots at preschool, which is the same time Captain’s school bus drops him off on a good day from the middle school. Practice is at the High school.  Hooboy, how am I going to make this work? I shout it to facebook and between drafting Grandma to go pick up Toots while I play Runaround Sue for the boys, I pull it off.

Fair warning to parents of young kids: Enjoy them now, soon they become above insanity, most of which I did not mention, but I think I finally got through to #1 about scholarship deadlines. Another piece of advice: try not to schedule anything at 3PM. Ever.

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Captain Comic has been craving physical outlets since he quit Tae Kwan Do a few years ago, and that has been taken out on us in hug attacks galore and wrestling a giant stuffed polar bear in the backyard, hence my searching out about JV Wrestling. Small problem: practices start before the middle school lets out, sport bus from middle school doesn’t start until the regular season starts, so I have a couple of weeks of getting him from middle to high school right when Mr. Cynic usually needs to be dropped off for work and Toots needs to be picked up from preschool. Among other chauffeuring needs…

Captain Comic went to his first practice yesterday. He flung himself into it, no holds barred. After many conditioning exercises, weights, and such, where the coaches and Varsity guys were coaching the new guys and girl on the team, they wanted to show him a few moves and matches so he could have an idea what he was getting himself into.

He took to it more than a fish to water. I’ve never seen anything like it. He didn’t stop, even when the coaches and other guys were out of breath. As soon as he hit the mat, he was back up again and crouched to shake hands to challenge the next guy. Finally I had to call out, “Have you guys had enough of Shea for one day? Because, obviously, he hasn’t had enough yet.” They all laughed and said “Yeah! We have!”

Then he said, “Ew, I’m all sweaty.” And they laughed again and insisted he hasn’t even begun to sweat.

Both of the coaches seemed to know about dealing with kids with disabilities. One coaches the town league, and said he coaches two kids with Downs Syndrome and one with Severe Autism. We confirmed that he would know exactly how to deal with Shea and his Asperger’s very quickly. Both coaches were really open to having him join the team.  He is so ready to do this!

I couldn’t be more exhausted this week, or more proud. And it’s only Tuesday.

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