Grief Is Stupid & A Surprise Turnip

Grief is stupid. The world is broken.

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This beautiful beast is no longer with us:

CastielHer name was Castiel, she was 4 and a half years old, and we got her between having a miscarriage and be able to try to get pregnant again. She played fetch and would literally cuddle with you and take a nap under the blankets like a teddy bear. She would let the kiddo (or me) put weird stuff on her head, was super patient with said kiddo, and would literally play with her – shove duplos towards her, let the kiddo chase her, “boop snoots”, or just sit there, watch and “talk” while the kiddo played in her room.

She was absolutely fucking wonderful. She was also brain damaged. Seizures (she’d had small ones her whole life, but they were very infrequent), which became more and more regular. The seizure medication caused other issues, which stressed her out, causing more seizures. When she first got sick again in November, I told myself we could patch her up again – and we tried! We did all the things! But her little body was just done. When you’re on seizure medication 3x a day (and the third one that’s been tried) and on morphine, and you’re still having minute long seizures? Your brain is glitching pretty hard.

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Toddler and kitty shenanigans circa 2015

So on December 29th we put her to sleep. She died knowing she was loved, with people who’d loved her all of her tiny life, having her song sang to her. She was so very tired.

Grief is stupid, you guys. If you ever wanted proof that Creation is cursed, that something is fundamentally broken with how the world works right now, just experience Grief. Even the relatively small grief if losing a beloved pet (small compared to say, a child or parent) is awful. Every time I sat down or made coffee, my left hand was empty for days after Castiel died. Why? Because I didn’t realize how often I’d drop my hand to pet her, she was always there.  The first nap I took after she died I woke up sobbing and reaching for her, and even now, a month later, remembering her hurts. The toddling still asks about her, still reminds us that Cas had to go away because she was sick. There have been serious conversations about if Toddling would need to go away if she got sick, and a very upsetting episode when said Toddling took off her pajamas, threw her blankets out of her bed, was shivering, and thought she had the “shakeys” like Cas did (she’d seen the cat have seizures, it was unavoidable) and would have to go away. Great.
Grief is stupid. The world is broken. We need Jesus, so that not everything will be broken for always. Daily the curse on creation eats up things we love, yet we deny any chance at redemption. We stubbornly sit here declaring “There is no God! I bow to no one! He’s not MY kind of good, therefore He isn’t!”, like ants in the sunshine refusing to acknowledge a storm is rolling in. You’re getting washed away regardless, kid.


 

In other news, Gardening is January is pretty mellow. We planted collards, carrots, garlic and onions back in September, so right now we just kind of hang out and wait for them to ripen. Collard Greens are great, because you can harvest some, wait for some to come back and keep harvesting. It’s really the only thing we’re getting from our garden right now, but it’s something. A tasty tasty something.

I noticed when said Collards started coming up that one of them was a little different. Assuming it was just another kind of green that could be thrown in a pot, I didn’t think much of it and let it grow. Then, curiosity got the better of me, and I pulled it.

Surprise!
SUPRPRISETURNIP

That is a 1.6lb turnip. We have never purchased nor been given turnip seeds. Gardening is amusing in ways I never expected.

I Have The Best Husband

Today was not the GREATEST DAY EVER. I got an ocular migraine. Which for me, is usually followed by a regular skull splitting migraine. Despite the fact that I’ve had them since I was 10, ocular migraines always flip me out and give me massive anxiety.

Hi little blog that I haven’t updated in a month due to emotional turmoil and lack of sleep.

Our garden is mostly “done”. It’s just sitting and hanging out until it’s cooler, with the exception of some pepper plants and the moonflowers.

This phase always makes me feel melancholy. Everything is hot and dead and everything seems to have the life and color sucked out of it by the unrelenting heat and sun. Nothing feels fertile. Then it rains, and it’s beautifully verdant for an hour to a day, and again the sun comes and claims even that beauty. And so the cycle goes.

I miss autumn. I count the days until the light slants again and paints everything gold, rather than bleaching the depth and richness out of the world.


 

Today was not the GREATEST DAY EVER. I got an ocular migraine. Which for me, is usually followed by a regular skull splitting migraine. Despite the fact that I’ve had them since I was 10, ocular migraines always flip me out and give me massive anxiety.

I also sent a really *REALLY* long email that I’ve been praying about and crying about and editing and re editing for over a month that could be a big huge thing God uses, or could be a giant can or worms that ruins my relationship with my parents. Huzzah!

The proper thing to do when met with massive anxiety is to, of course, frantically message your husband walls of text while he’s at work. My husband, being the reasonable person he is, told me to put down work, take some meds, sit in the dark and cold, watch tv if I needed to.

He also took it upon himself to bring home drive through junk food for dinner so no one had to cook, and a venti coffee for me to go with my tacos.

This man. Y’all.

This is an old old old photo

 

We fight. We have our issues. The first few years of marriage were really hard in ways I was completely unprepared for. But he loves me, in ways I was not and still am not able to fully comprehend. He does not keep score the way I was always taught me husband would keep score, or grade me, for being a wife. He sees me as his equal in ways that I do not and may not ever fully appreciate, while at the same time leading me and our family, and stepping in to take care of shit when I am just too tired or in too much pain to deal.

The hair migrated south to his face.He’s clever, and kind, and a little bit twisted, but in the same ways that I am, mostly. I couldn’t have made a better father for our kid if God had let me design him myself. And yeah, he’s damaged. He’s not perfect, but neither am I, and the pressure of living up to a perfect spouse is something that I don’t think I could handle.

Also his butt is like so amazing.

Dreaming Update…

I went to a playdate yesterday at the church we’ve been going to but are not members of. Met some other cool moms. They were impressed with my garden. My garden that I’ve been lamenting to my husband and God all week about being discouraged about. I’ve been questioning my entire life – why garden? It’s not GREAT, everyone else’s is so much better! Why blog? My blog is tiny, no one reads it, and my writing is crap! Every one else’s blog is so much better!”

Funny how we see things, isn’t it? I watch all these youtubers and I think “YOUR GARDEN IS MAGICAL” and mine is…not dead yet? My “this doesn’t even count!” is someone else’s “Wow, you can do that? That’s so friggin cool!”.

Note to self: Don’t disparage the work God is doing in your life or your garden because it’s not done yet.

Also, making mom friends. So weird. Nice, but weird. Apparently I’m still ten years old and awkward in my head. As one other mom, who I found TOTALLY AWESOME and cannot for the life of me remember the name of, commented on. We’re all still awkward tweens inside.

I said update, so here’s an update. I present to you, our June 1st 2017 Harvest:

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Edit 10/18/17: That mom’s name was J and we’re actual friends now. Whee!

Kathy Griffin Has A Right To Be Gross.

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 

Yeah, she does. I don’t like the image of her holding a very realistic looking severed head of Donald Trump. I find it abhorrent, disgusting, and question her motives since it’s Ramadan. What message, exactly, is she trying to send?

The reality is that it doesn’t matter what message she’s trying to send. Or that it’s offensive. Or that Barron Trump didn’t realize at first that it wasn’t really his father’s severed head (good job MSM, an 11 year old thinks it’s possible for his father’s head to cut off and used in a photoshoot. We’re just running away from “civilized”, aren’t we?). It doesn’t even matter that it’s Ramadan, and Muslims/ISIS are currently actually beheading people overseas and blowing up children.

It doesn’t matter. She didn’t actually hurt anyone, she didn’t directly tell others to go commit violent acts. It’s her right to be a twatwaffle.

 


Your feelings about her art, her words, her expression of self, simply do not matter when it comes to the legality of the matter, and if she “can”. My feelings, your feelings, the feelings of college students everywhere, do not next to the right free speech. Freedom of thought and expression. It is absolute. It is important we understand this is a fundamental right. None of our other rights matter if this one isn’t upheld. When this topples, the rest follow. It’s why we have the Second Amendment in the United States. The Second protects The First.

You, by the way, have the same right to be a twatwaffle. Or jerk, or asshole. Independent Fundamental Baptist preachers have the right to spew vile lies, call people faggots, and generally warp the gospel of Christ into the gospel of bullies, college students without one foot in reality have the right to call white milk racist.

From sea to shining sea, we all have the right to be complete idiots and blowhards, if we so choose. ‘Merica.

EAGLEEEEEEissooveryourbs

With Great Freedom comes Great Responsibility. This is why people hate big government, by the way. The Bigger your Government, the smaller your freedom. There’s no perfect balance of the two.  People who want bigger government want less personal responsibility – like paying for their own, um, life. The cost of the government covering your basic life needs that you yourself should cover, is that you have less freedom. They spy on you, they tell you want you can and cannot do.

Big government is like living with your parents – as long as you live under my roof and eat my food, you’ll obey my rules. As someone who is thankful and proud to be an American, I say: Fuck that noise.

Freedom is not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart. It requires character and self policing, and dealing with the fallout of your own actions and words, because you are responsible for yourself. This is how we should raise our children. This is how we should live ourselves.

We are blessed here in the United States to have Freedom of Speech, and if we wish to keep it, to uphold this precious right for which blood has been shed, we have to defend “icky” speech like Kathy Griffin’s as much as we defend speech we agree with.

I will leave you with the words of the great Neil Gaiman, who puts it far more eloquently than I should ever hope to. I strongly suggest you go read the post in it’s entirety, as it’s well worth the time to not only read, but muse over as well.

“If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.

The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.

People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble.”

– Neil Gaiman

Balancing the Frump

Hey Stay At Home Mom (or Dad), can we talk?

You, sitting there in your yoga pants or ratty cargo shorts, in a sports bra and a shirt with mysterious stains. You ladies who live in the “mom uniform” of unwashed hair, yoga pants, and a sports bra day in and day out, can we talk?

Go take a shower, wash your damn hair, exfoliate your face, and put on mascara. 

I get it, we have mommy wars about everything, and at this point it’s weird bragging from some sects to talk about how long it’s been since you showered. In fact, one famous “mommy blogger/writer/tweeter” has made her career about how hard it is to be her and have children and do basic things, like dress herself and feed them. While she’s sometimes funny, after awhile she’s just depressing and nasty.

Yeah, I said it. I don’t like her. I think her children will one day read her stuff and be heartbroken and have serious issues. I cannot fathom why she recently got divorced, or why if basic life things like showering, eating and dressing are so difficult, why she had any children much less several. It’s one thing to show solidarity with moms who are in the weeds, to say “hey, it’s real, I’ve been here too, you aren’t a failure”. It’s another thing to glorify it and make it the norm, though.

(And I know I know, don’t judge. Fair point. But this lady is just glorifying being damaged, and damaging yourself further, and having no self respect. It’s not cool.)

Not showering is not normal. Never putting on makeup, if you wore makeup before kids, is not normal. Regularly wearing clothing that you wouldn’t mind getting ruined out in public all the time is not normal. Not caring about yourself and your appearance and your hygiene is not, in fact, normal. It’s a sign you’re out of balance, or that you’re depressed. 

So can we please stop acting like the “Mommy frump” is normal and okay, instead of a sign that we’re having a bad week?


I didn’t realize, personally, how  bad I was doing after my daughter was born, until I looked at my makeup bag when she was around 5 months old, and I realized I was so out of practice that I was actually afraid of putting on makeup.

I didn’t feel like myself, I wasn’t doing things *I* did to care for myself in my life before mommyhood, and that, I realized, was part of my problem. 

I love makeup. I’m good at makeup. To go out for tacos with friends usually takes me about 20 minutes on my face, and this amount of product(s):

TheMagicsInTheMakeupI like makeup. My husband courted, won, and married a woman who takes care of her hair and skin, and wears makeup. And he likes it, a lot. Your thing might not be makeup. You don’t NEED a small collection of NARS and Urban Decay to take care of yourself. It might be a nice french braid and a swipe of lip gloss, if that. It might just be being really clean and having painted nails.

Whatever your thing is, you do you. But DO IT. Don’t completely stop taking care of yourself, that’s not okay. You’re still a person, you’re still you. Being a mom adds, to who you are, it doesn’t take away.

I get it, bad weeks happen. Bad months happen. PPD is real, and it’s a fucking bitch, and if you have a breastfeeding child under 4ish months old, none of this applies to you, because the 4th trimester is just about survival of you and the tiny helpless thing you made.

But after that?

Whatever you did before you had kids, whatever you did when you started dating your spouse, you should start doing again. Even if you don’t do it as often. If you wore funky blue sparkles mascara and eyeshadow more days than not, you should at least be making the effort a few days a week. If you ran, you should go run. If you baked three days a week because that was your zen, for god’s sake, let Disney babysit the kiddos for an hour and make banana bread.

showerdailyyall

And take a shower. Showers are wonderful. You should shower every fucking day, even if it’s a quicky and you get ten minutes less sleep. If you have room, do some stretches in the hot water. If you can’t get in a full yoga practice, you can take five minutes in the shower and center yourself. Maybe even go crazy and put on deodorant and body lotion afterwards. And a bra that isn’t just a band that holds everything down.

You will feel better, you will be more relaxed, you will be a better wife and mom, and feel like less of a failure, if you can start to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of everyone around you. You are important, you should be cared for as well. 

The reality is that if you struggle with this, it still isn’t going to happen every day. And that’s okay. But efforts should be made. For your sake, for your family’s sake, for the sake of your marriage. Living in the frump, instead of making efforts to look like a reasonable presentable human being at least half the time, is not normal. It’s not okay. I don’t know how or why we’ve made it okay. We don’t feel better about ourselves with gross hair and yoga pants on, and what are we modeling for our kiddos, what kind of message are we sending our spouse?

Frump, 1,000%, has it’s place. Messy hair, old pants, a tee shirt that’s half holes but who cares because you love it and you’re just gonna sit on the couch and marathon something that isn’t PG on netflix? This is important. Bring it. Bloat pants for when you’re PMSing? Yes please. Friends who stand in sympathetic solidarity with you when you message them and go “It’s Wednesday and I haven’t washed my hair since Saturday”? We all need them. Life happens, and when you have tiny humans sometimes it’s just herding cats.

However, this whole mommy culture, and that one horrific semi-famous mom, who says that this is normal eight days a week? It isn’t. And the glorious comfort of not giving a fuck loses some of it’s allure and therapeutic properties when you LIVE like that. There has to be a balance. And daily showering.

You have to take care of yourself, and give a shit about yourself, and that includes your appearance. At least most days.