Sunday, June 28, 2009

Popping in...

Ever heard of WWOOF? I can't remember what it stands for (mainly because I've heard it said two different ways, so *shrug*), but it's an organization of farmers and volunteers. There's this huge, international network of organic farmers. And there's this HOARD of volunteers who want to learn about organic farming. So, the volunteers go and work on a farm and learn as much as they can while helping the farmers out with whatever the farm needs (planting, harvesting, construction, whatever). The farmers offer the volunteers room and board in exchange for this work. More interesting than the actual physical work being done is the exchange of information. Here you have two parties exchanging their knowledge about organic farming techniques!!! The volunteer almost seems like a bee, pollenating farms as it goes. What it learns on one farm, it shares with the next! The farmers learn information from ALL of the farms the volunteer has visited. I'm sorry but my mind is just BLOWN thinking about the possibilities.

I first heard about it on my mommies discussion board back in CLT. I did a little research and got butterflies and lightning in my belly. Then, later that night, Sam saw a report on it on TV... over HERE!!!!!!

So, get this... there are WWOOF farms around HERE. There are some around Sam's parents' house!!! There are some in Virginia!!! Can you hear my wheels turning from where you are? After our August vacation, I'm going to line up some farms for us to visit. I'm going to see if there are ones close enough to the city that I can commute affordably by train a couple of days per week and then whenever Sam gets more vaycay days, we're going to leave the kids with someone and go just the two of us. Remember how I said that I wanted to have an instructional farm? Finding this organization already in existence is like a dream come true. I can't WAIT to finally be able to HOST some of these volunteers. In the mean time, I think it'd be good for me to volunteer as much as I can so I can stock up on knowledge and experience. There are farms that are mainly dairy. There are others where the farmer grows his own grains, mills them, and bakes bread for the community... ALL ORGANIC... Sound like a certain hippie you all know? I actually CRIED reading some of the ads on this WWOOF site. How cheesy am I?


I'm not going to go on and on about it because, well, I'm not sure I could STOP once I got started. tee hee hee... I'll keep you posted, though.

No news yet on the manuscript. I'm trying not to think about it. Keep you posted on that, too.

Get this... I worked out this week. I'm still coughing pretty heavily, so I didn't do more cardio than what it takes to warm up, but I've worked on muscles. Lots of abwork, butt crunching, weights on the arms, squats and lunges and stuff. Yesterday, we loaded up the kids and rode our bikes for almost three hours, stopping once to let the kids play on the playground.

OH, AND... I don't know if I've ever told you about the Velov or not. It's this network of bike stations all over the city. And when I say "all over" I mean on almost every corner. You go up to the station, you get a bike, you ride it where you need to and you bank it at a station close to where you need to go. It's free for the first half hour and like 50 cents for every hour after that (or something cheap like that). You can either walk up to the vending machine and buy a day pass, or a week pass... OR you can get a sort of membership card linked to your bank account (you have a PIN just like if it were a debit card). It's SO fast. So, as long as it's not raining, I'll never wait for the bus again. Ever! Yesterday, I took the bike to the movies and back. It was awesome. I had missed the bus but I got there just like 30 after instead of having to wait for another bus! The only setbacks (and this I've heard from Sam) are that, even though they conduct regular maintenance on the bikes, sometimes, you'll have one that has been mistreated, stuff ripped off like the bell or whatnot, but for the most part, so far, I freakin' LOVE it. LOOOOOVE it! Though, it was a leeeeetle scary riding home from the movies last night because the lights were out on the path from Interpol to the stoplight just near my building. I was really glad I had verified that my bike had a bell on it because I had to use it three or four times. AND I was glad that the headlights on the bike worked (I had beers and dinner with Flavia and even AFTER my movie was a still a little tipsy... drinking and riding). *eyes bulge* BUT, the scariest thing was that, as I got to the end of the trail, I saw what I thought was someone squatting down to look at something in the grass, their bike parked next to them. But when I got close, I realized that this guy was taking a shit RIGHT NEXT TO THE TREE... and this tree is literally RIGHT NEXT to the bus stop/red light... IN PLAIN sight. The WORST part was that he seemed to be wiping his but with his hand and then wiping his hand on the tree. *retch* I got home and told Sam about it and he said, "Was he riding a Velov?"

I said, "I don't think so." But then I thought about it. The guys' bike WAS standing up pretty straight. And the Velovs have a sort of motorcycle kick stand instead of the kind that makes your bike lean to one side. "Wait, why do you ask?"

"Because, imagine if he rode that bike after he took a crap near that tree."

I got up, drunk and all, and ran to the bathroom to wash my hands. I think I might invest in a pair of gloves and start taking my Purel with me again. *grin* I mean, bus hand rails are just as grody and whatnot, but I haven't seen any bus passengers taking a crap next to a tree and wiping their butts with their hands... Not lately. LOL.

I was going to blog about my resto experience this week but the more I think about it the more I think it'll just sound like whining. So, suffice it to say that MOST French servers suck. There you go. Broad generalization. And this is after ten years of experience with them... You'd think I'd get used to it huh? Nope. All I asked is that they not put croutons on my salad. You'd have thought I asked him to go move my car or something. *eye roll* Okay, no, I said I wouldn't. I'm not gonna. Moving on.

Have I mentioned how much I love summer with all of it's fresh fruits and veggies? And I dehydrated all those cherries that I harvested last weekend... I'm snackin' on 'em between meals. *blush* I'm so BAD!!! LOL!

Okay, listen, I'm hung over, and I can feel like my writing is degenerating as I type, so I'm going to let you all off the hook. I'll just close by saying that since I'm not making much head way on the writing right now, I am reading my butt off. I'm reading about a book a day, give or take. I guess that's another summer tradition of mine.

Speaking of....

Sunday, June 21, 2009


For some reason, it's not as hard this time to wait to hear back from the AMD/JMC. I don't know why. Maybe because just in getting that chunk of my life out of my day, I feel like I've done something major? Who knows? I hardly ever think about it now. I don't check my email six times a day hoping to see a response from JMC. I mean, I DO, of course, but not with the obsessive fury from before. I hope that the agency takes me on and that this book will be the foot in the door I need to get my other stories out there.

Speaking of other stories. Talk about your doozies. I thought a collection of snapshots would be easier to write than an actual chunk-of-time memoir, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Mainly because there are so many damn holes. I guess I got in the habit of writing a linear progression and this snapshots thing is a little foreign to me. The way I see it, I have to tell a micro-story with a beginning, middle and end but it has to fit into a collection that has an overall story arc... I guess. This is all new to me. So, all I've been doing is sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind. I'm not editing myself. I feel like every day is NaNoWriMo or something. Sit down, write without thought and close the folder. Come back to it later and clean it up.

Another thing that's hard about this kind of writing is that though I can see images in my head, I can't place everything. I can see myself sitting somewhere and I can remember the conversation, but I can't see the room I'm in. I want to tell the story of the conversation, but I don't want to rob my reader of description of the tactile world. So, I find myself making up the room. Just deciding where I'm going to make the conversation take place. There, it's decided. And once I've done that, I can describe the room because I know it. It's a real room that really existed and there's a high probability that's where the said conversation took place, so I roll with it. It's a compromise. I'm compromising pinpoint accuracy for the sake of recounting the conversation. This way, both the reader and I win. They get to see the room and I get to tell the conversation.

Am I babbling? Sorry.

I'm finding it hard to have the same motivation as well. The story I just sent off was one that I feel the Heavens had a hand in telling. I feel like I was God's/Universe's pawn in that whole story. Got tricked into thinking I had some sort of agency, but I didn't really. I was destined to be a vessel both in the carrying/having of the baby and in the telling of the story. Like I carried two babies... the real one and the book itself. Whoa, that's deep. *snicker* I'm less motivated to tell the other stuff. Don't get me wrong, I think it's SUPER interesting stuff. And funny. It just doesn't have the same MISSION fueling it. Maybe if I had a clear go-ahead from the AMD/JMC it would be easier.

I haven't stopped writing it. I'm doing a lot of writing in my head (and you know, that's where most of the writing happens anyway) but don't feel terribly compelled to craft it onto paper just now. Maybe part of me IS waiting to hear back about the other book first.

Enough of that.

Okay, farmwise, things are really starting to get exciting. In the past week, I have found a handful of properties that make the PERFECT compromise. Remember how we thought we'd have to choose between land and house? Remember how we were prepared to live in a trailer so we could have more than 20 acres? WELLLLLL, this past week, I have found some properties for sale that have more than 20 acres (25-40) and that have homes bigger than 1500 square feet!!!! WITHIN OUR PRICE RANGE and in an area that seems to be a good compromise of hills and flat fields and woods. That's AWESOME. I'm just hoping that a few of these stay on the market long enough for me to see them in August.

I keep practicing. Every week, Sam comes home from the market and I put things by. This week it was strawberry-raspberry preserves, cherry preserves, red pasta sauce and medium salsa. I have peaches and apricots as well as more salsa ingredients waiting for me in the kitchen. We cooked up some of the pasta we made a few months ago (in the vegan era) and threw in some halal Moroccan meatballs with some of the homemade red sauce that I made LAST summer and the kids ate every last morsel. INCREDIBLE!!! And yesterday, I made another clafouti for the Father's/Mother's Day gathering at Sam's parents house and it was a hit. I was surprised how much they liked it.

I went to my first ever gay pride march on Saturday. I can't believe I've never been. And I heard about it by accident. Sam and I went out on a "date" Friday night (we got our neighbor's daughter to babysit and we went to dinner and a movie, YAY!) and while we were standing at the bus, we saw a flyer saying that the bus schedule would be messed up because of the gay pride "manifestation" (a word which usually means protest, but in this case it meant parade, lol). I wasn't sure I'd want to go all by myself, but Flavia and Gilles had plans and I didn't see any of my other buddies really wanting to come along (I mean, I'm not sure even Gilles would come along, but I know Flavia has a handful of gay friends and would have loved it). Not to mention that I was sick (I've caught a NEW stupid cold *eye roll*) and had a fever. Still, I decided at the last minute that I was going, friends or no... I figured it would be a great way to meet other people. So, I put my keys, phone and five euro into my pocket and walked the three blocks to the beginning of the march.

I heard the bass from a block away. I saw rainbow flags. Oh, and a drag queen. I knew I was getting close. LOL! But when I got there, I realized that I had worn civies to a gay parade. Everyone was dressed up, wrapped in rainbow flags, gay stickers all over their parts. I had nothin'. So, I bought a flag from a vendor. They were four euro and he didn't have change, so I paid five. For a good cause. I didn't have anything racy to wear, so I figured sticking my flag stick into my bra would have to do. I walked up to the front of the march and stood to people watch. A guy on a bull horn started talking about all the rights we have worked for and earned since the beginning of gay pride in the late sixties. The guy said something about it all starting when Judy Garland died. Then he talked about all the rights we still don't have in France. He said, "We are here thank those before us and to stand in for those who come after us. The gays, lesbians, bi's, transsexuals and trans-identities. We are here to represent France!" The crowd cheered, but my voice was not amongst the others....

Because I was crying.

Bawling like a baby. I had never felt more queer, more French, more American, more Lyonnaise, more proud so far in my life. I was swept away. It took awhile for the lump to disappear from my throat so I could yell along with the others. But I did yell. Lost my voice. When I'd exhaust an octave, I'd find a lower one and keep yelling.

The thing that surprised me the most was the people watching us. There were the typical Europeans, dancing along to the techno blaring from the floats--it's somehow in their blood... they hear a techno beat and they can't help it... old people too!--even little kids. There were the amused and curious. There were the rich and disapproving. But one time, when the parade stopped to restate our cause, there was a little old lady hanging out her window, waving. Her husband stood beside her and made a teddy bear dance to the techno. When that woman waved, the whole crowd cheered. I cried (of course, *eye roll*). There was only one real asshole and that was some chump who squirted water at us from his fifth floor window and then closed the shutters so we couldn't see who had done it.

As we walked down the rich street--the one where they sell the snooty chocolates... you remember?--I shook my ass a little harder. I pumped my arms, raised my fists, waved my flag. Richies leaned out their windows with blank expressions. For some reason, I felt very Nanny Nanny Boo Boo on that street. The float I was following had a bubble blower at the back of it and then every once in awhile the guy would hose us all down. The float also had about fifty of the Young and Beautiful girating against each other.

I saw 7-foot drag queens on 16-inch platforms. I saw half-naked, muscle-bound angels in silver thongs. I saw leather freaks with whips. I saw couples kissing. I saw gay couples carrying their kids on their shoulders. I saw whole families of straight supporters pushing strollers. I saw a girl that looked like Audrey Tautou (from Amelie) who made eyes at me and flirted, but I was too shy to talk to her *blushes*. I saw rainbow flags waved in front of ancient buildings. Drag queens standing in front of medieval churches. Foam canons in front of the Pope's basilica. My ears throbbed from the sound of thousands of whistles blowing. It made me think of Harvey Milk. I cried.

I had planned to leave the march early--when we got close to my apartment--but I was so swept away by the emotion and pride that I couldn't bring myself to leave. Even when we were crossing the Rhone and there were so many people dancing to the techno that the bridge bounced (and if you know how I feel about bridges.... *shudder*). Yet, I stayed until the end.

Sam even called to see if I was having fun. Asked if he could bring the kids down to see the parade. I said, "SURE!" He would have, too, had Lily not still been sleeping. He said he got to see the tail end of the parade crossing the bridge and it looked like a blast. He's never been sexier to me... The fact that he was happy to see ME HAPPY in celebration of the other half of me. Makes me well up just thinking about it.

It was awesome to be a part of the river of queers!!!! Though, I did feel things go back to normal as I stepped on the bus to come home. People stared at me with my rainbow flag sticking out of my bra. I pulled it out and discretely rolled it up. Not embarrassed, just discreet. As I walked to the building from the bus stop, flag in hand, I felt like "one of THOSE people."

Next year, I'm taking peeps with me. It's my goal to meet at least 20 gay locals. I'm taking them with me... AND I'M DRESSING UP!!!!!!

I went out with Flavia and Gilles on Thursday to celebrate Flavia's b-day (Friday). We found a new pub right up the road from the Smoking Dog that has 3.50 pintes!!! They only have like four beers on tap, but the important thing is they have Murphy's Stout!!! DELISH!!! Afterward, we went to the Laurencin and had all my faves. I walked home drunk and happy and actually SAID to Sam when I got home, "What if I want to stay in France? What if I want to live here forever?" He said, "I'll talk to you about this in the morning when you're sober." I don't remember saying it. LOL! I think sometimes, I just get happy about being here. About being able to walk home drunk and unmolested. About having organically grown stuff every Saturday. Of being able to buy organic stuff in the supermarket at a reasonable price.

And I think I'm beginning to understand the French concept of Joie de Vivre... This weekend was the Fete de la Musique all over France. That means that there were bands playing music non-stop all over France for the WHOLE weekend. There was one outside our building playing their music loudly all night long Saturday night. I fell asleep to super loud bass thumping at 11pm last night. Back home, I'd be all pissy and ready to call the city about noise ordinances. About how my kids couldn't sleep because of their stupid loud festival. I know I would do this because that's how I reacted to the music playing non stop at the Light Festival back in December. But something has changed in me. I looked around and saw that the French didn't mind the noise. That they all seemed to be like, "Hey, it's music. May not be MY kind of music, but this is the festival of music. Everyone deserves the right to celebrate music." No one seemed pissed. So, I decided not to mind either, and strangely enough, I felt joyous. It didn't keep my kids awake and I didn't grumble and moan as I feel asleep. I mean, I didn't get to go walking around and listening to the bands because I was so sick and utterly exhausted from having spent the morning at the in-laws' house, but I'll save that for next year.

Dad, have I told you how much I love you? Happy Father's Day (a day late). Far as I'm concerned, every day since we met has been a celebration of our knowing each other, so I don't feel bad about not telling you on the day that the government decided is your day. So there.

I worked out this week! I used my room downstairs. I did step aerobics, kick-boxing, ab work, yoga, pilates and rode my bike. Wednesday, Ryan and I even did a loop around the park (which is two and a half miles). I walked and he jogged beside me. But I only got in a couple of really good days of working out. I woke up Friday morning with a hangover (from going out with Flavia) and a new cold. Blah. I was hoping it would be completely gone by this morning, and it does seem a little better and easier to kick than the last one, but I still have a pretty bad headache from the sinus congestion. Still, I think that I'll be able to work on my step aerobics routine (without the step) up here in the apartment hallway (because I don't want to take Lolo down to the room until they get the elec fixed) without causing myself too much stress. I don't want to make the cold worse, so it'll probably be better to do it without the step. I can also do my ab work and butt busting exercises up here. I might even be able to take Lolo to the park for a quick walk, too (she has the cold too, though, so we'll see how she's feeling). Either way, though I've taken a pound or two off (which I'm sure I put back on after going out for beers on Thursday), overall, I feel optimistic about getting toned up. I can already tell a difference in my core after just one week. I mean, it's not like being at the Y everyday or anything but, *shrug*

Well, stuff needs cleaning, salsa need making, chapters need writing, and Lolo needs entertaining, so I'll sign off for now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thoughts and fears...

Thought: It was sometime around this time of year that I found my dad. Seven years? I was 27. I'm 34. So, yeah. 7 years. I can't BELIEVE that! Wow, that flew by. I'm feeling pretty guilty and slacker-y for how bad I've become at keeping in touch with him. I searched and yearned for him all through my childhood and then, once I found him (after a couple-year honeymoon of sorts) fizzled into a pen-pal relationship with him. Then again, that pretty much means he's one of the family since I don't talk to anyone anymore. It's not because I don't love 'em. I'm just busy. Same old excuse, eh? How much time does it take to send an email that says, "Hi, I love you?" I'm putting that on my to-do list for today. Better yet...Dad, I love you! And Mommy too. And EMH!

I'm so glad I found him. Even if I don't show him how much I truly appreciate the fact that he is alive. And not a bum. And not a Republican. He's a funny, loving, sweet person and I can see where a lot of me came from. I want to say more, Dad, but I don't know how you'd feel about me blaring it all over the net. Suffice it to say that I'm gonna write a chapter on us soon. So, I've been thinking about you a lot. I love you!

Thought: I used to be SO in love with Julian Lennon. In. Freakin'. Love! I used to cry over him. I'm writing a chapter on that, too. I hope I get published.

Fear: I'm scared to go home. There you go. Been said now. Why? I got into a friendly discussion with an old college acquaintance and it turned a strange direction when she asked if the French hate Americans:

"They don't hate ALL Americans. They're relieved that we've elected Obama. The whole globe is relieved."

"I bet they are. I wouldn't know because I didn't support Obama, so they'd probably hate me."

"Nah. They wouldn't hate you. You lost. The world won."

We started talking about her fish who just died (she bought 'em from WalMart).

"Yeah, I think I'll name the next two Palin and Huckabee."

"Poor fish."

"To each his own."

When she said she didn't support Obama, I was prepared to leave it there. She brought the Palin/Huckabee thing up. And I didn't overtly insult them. Wanted to. Didn't.

I shouldn't have been affected in the least by this little teensy exchange. But I was. Plagued me for the rest of the day. I just don't understand how college-educated people could EVER vote for Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee. Especially Hucakbee. He fucking said he wanted to quarantine all AIDS sufferers. Does that mean kids, too, Mike, you douchebag? Do these people not KNOW these things about their candidates? Who wants a douchebag like that representing them? I don't get it. And Palin? Really? She's become a joke. I'm not saying there aren't JOKE-Y dems... I mean, I think Biden is a big honking blabbering idiot, personally. I think he was Obama's first mistake (not his only one either). Actually, personality-wise, I bet Palin and Biden are neck and neck.

Okay, none of that is the point I'm trying to make. What I'm trying to say is that it shocked me. I think in the almost year we've been here, I've forgotten. I mean, I haven't forgotten the existence of fundamental conservative evangelical Republicans. The idea of them. But I forgot about the REALITY of them. A reality that scares me. I guess I just repressed them. But now, I'm planning on moving back to a VERY conservative place. Lynchvegas (thanks NJH!), is the former playground of Jerry Falwell. Actually, it's the CURRENT legacy of the wackjob. What am I THINKING? Do I really wanna move into a huge community of queer-haters? Okay, that's not fair. It's probably not a HUGE community of queer-haters. I've recently heard that there's a pretty cool/eclectic gay bar and I know of at least one male gay couple there, so all is not lost. But Sam was looking on the net about the school in the area in which we found a VERY interesting property and on the school website, I shit you not, someone left a comment about how they are so impressed with this school's PTA because they start every meeting with prayer. FUCK THAT!!!! Okay, y'all know I love me some Jesus, but I also love me some Constitution, yo. And the Constitution said don't do that shit. If some of the rents and teachers wanna get together away from the school and do a quick prayer (or a long one *shrug*) for the PTA, that's fine, but to come onto the school grounds and pray just gives me the willies. What do the parents who DON'T believe in God do? Just stand there and shuffle their feet? I mean, I'm a big pray-er, but I've lost my taste for the hold hands and pray group prayer thing. I used to like it... when I went to a RELIGIOUS school, where it was known that religion was a part of the curriculum and what not (I'm also really glad I LEFT that school and got to see the world through unfiltered eyes). But it was more social than spiritual (for me anyway).

What am I afraid of? Okay, I'm afraid that we're going to get there, and I'm going to see things I don't like, and I'm going to run my big fat mouth or become an activist. Isn't that awesome? It is. And I'd LOVE to do it. Gives me a hard-on THINKING about it. About turning Lynchvegas into Austin or something. About being a queer pioneer!!! That should be capitalized... Queer Pioneer! But, having lived in a small-ish, fundamentalist town, I know that those kinds of actions almost ALWAYS evoke uneducated and hateful retaliation.

Now, if I were alone, I'd be like BRING THAT SHIT ON!!! But... I got kids. If I'm the big-mouthed queer farmer bitch, what does that make my kids? Will I not be able to send them to public school? I don't want to shield them from all hardship, I just don't want them to become the victims of hate stuff. I don't want them to hate ME for their being subjected to crap about ME. I mean, school is hard enough. They're going to be made fun of. They're going to get hurt. They're going to be exposed to some hard shit. And on some levels, that's good for them. Cultural capital and all that. But, if it's on account of MY big mouth, I'm afraid that they'll resent me. And gay people.

Ugh. And I'm just not the type to keep my mouth shut. I might end up having to pay for private school. Or not since most of the ones I've seen so far are religious.

So, all of this sparked my looking at Charlotte again. Guess what I found? I found twenty acres for $200K!!! WOW! not. That's 20acres with NOTHIN' included. No well, no septic, nothin'. Know what I can get in Lynchvegas for $200K? 30 acres, a 1800sq. ft. house with well, septic, woods, cleared land, road frontage, fences, a spring fed creek... shall I go on? I don't see any other choice. Maybe I'm greedy. Maybe it's the land. The way I see it, I can have a utopian farm on 5 acres in Charlotte where I'm sure to be comfy and to feel like I fit in... OR, I can have a great big ol' farm surrounded by woods in a town where I might feel like an outsider and never completely safe.

Since it's become all about the farm... I think it's gonna be Lynchvegas. I think I'm gonna hafta get there, keep my trap shut, make some friends (across the spectrum of politics and religion), get active in the community and take my time slowly, gradually, making positive changes. That'll be a tough-y for me since I'm NOT a patient person. But I'll have to make it work, eh?

Know what I love? Home made salsa. I do. Sorry, but I do. I love to make it all by myself and dip my spoon into that pan just before puttin' it into the jars and taste that yummy summery goodness and know that it came from a garden close to where I live. I can't WAIT for that damn farm. I can't WAIT to put up jars of salsa in which every single ingredient (except maybe the cumin .... but EVENTUALLY) came from my own land. The ground I walk on. Fertilized by compost that I composted. And by the poop of the goats that ATE the GRASS on the LAND we LIVE on!!! I get all giddy and shivery when I think about it. I'm such a dork. DORK.

I got moody again yesterday, so I headed to the movies. Saw Coraline. Not bad except for aforementioned lack of props to Neil Gaiman. And I saw a French flick called Les Beaux Gosses which was HILARIOUS. It reminded me of the book I just finished (King Dork). I could see cultural parallels between the American book and the French movie and that made me happy.

I wanted this entry to be all deep and reflective and whatnot, but dude, it's really super humid today. And there's NO breeze. And I have to go make red pasta sauce. And I think Lolo is jumping on my bed with her shoes on. So, I'm a little distracted. Maybe I'll find a way to get back in here later and be all deep and stuff.

Oh shit, I almost forgot. I walked yesterday. YES, I DID! One lap around the park. 2.43 miles. And I ate like I was sposed to. After my walk, I had one slice of multigrain bread with almond butter spread on it with a coffee. I snacked on a Danactive sorta thingy. For lunch, I had a little piece of quiche lorraine (that I made the day before) and a few spoons of a salad I made of bulgour, mint, garlic, lemon, maters, cukes, sea salt and plain yogurt. I did have ONE PIECE of cherry clafouti that I made the day before. Then, I drank LOTS of water. For dinner, I had the same thing but with a glass of white wine. Then, I went to the movies and I DID. NOT. EAT. POPCORN. I did, however, get a medium iced tea because I'm still coughing a little and needed something for hydration (plus, I was so tired from spending the day in the kitchen that I needed a little caffeine boost). I got up and weighed myself this morning (I know I shouldn't, but *shrug*) and had lost three pounds already. But, I know this is going to be a one day at a time thing. I know that I'm REALLY susceptible around my . and that I'm going to feel crazy wicked cravings. I'm just gonna hafta prepare myself to buckle down when that time comes. I'm taking the day off from activity today since I have Lolo, but tomorrow, I plan to walk again and then finish the gym room (and maybe actually use it?). I MIGHT do some situps today when Lolo goes to bed, but I'm not committing to anything.

Okay, really, she's probably destroyed my comforter with her shoes by now.

Taker easy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I got up yesterday determined to clean all morning, have lunch with a friend, work all afternoon and clean until going to bed. But it didn't happen that way. Ever wake up on the right side of the bed but fall OUT on the wrong side? That's the only way I can explain it. I got into a funk. I didn't want to clean. I didn't want to work. I didn't want to clean. I didn't want to be around anyone. And because all I had left to do by 10 was read, and all the kids were in school, I chose to do nothing. I read a DIFFERENT book. Written by someone else (King Dork by Frank Portman.. kick ASS book). At 10, I decided it would be best not to inflict my presence on my friend since I was being such a tired, pissy bitch. So, I texted her and apologized. Then, I put the dipes through their last cycle so I'd feel like I had done some house work and I left. I took my book, hopped on the bus and headed to the cinema. I saw Sunshine Cleaning. AWESOME flick! Then, my boyfriend (also my husband) called me and asked if he could come to the cine bar and buy me a coffee. Was I gonna say no? He showed up and pretended not to have hung up the dipes and done the dishes... but he did BOTH... I see some romance in HIS future. *grin* Then, I bought a humongous sweet and salty mixed popcorn and a huge peach Nestea from the fountain and went back in to see Ne Te Retourne Pas (French flick... Pretty spooky with a really confusing ending... sort of anticlimactic because it was so cryptic, but the acting/effects weren't bad through most of it). Then, I bought a ticket for ANOTHER movie, Je Vais Te Manquer (another French flick... not bad... a little When Harry Met Sally) and sat outside in the lounge area reading my book for half an hour until it was supposed to start.

I came home to beautiful children. I heated up leftover (but homemade) mint/basil/almond/garlic/lemon pesto with diced zucchini in it and steamed some organically grown peas. After that, I ran away. Locked myself in my room and worked until midnight. I proofread the last seven chapters, put all the chapters into three parts. Put all three parts into one document, changed all the names, put in a header and sent that bad bitch off. There you go. It's gone.

Why do I feel like I need to have a cast party? I feel somehow empty. I cleaned the living room/dining room/library, my bedroom, the hallway and am on my third load of laundry. It's only 10:30. When Sam gets back from the market, I'm going to make more salsa, red pasta sauce and pesto to freeze. HOPEFULLY, he'll bring back some cherries so I can make another clafouti. AND hopefully he'll bring back some peaches and apricots so I can make preserves. I'm also planning a quiche lorraine.

A is spending the night tonight. That'll be cool for Ryan.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to round up some fellow nerd/geek/dork people and go see Coraline. I'm pissed that they're not even mentioning that it was written by Neil Gaiman especially since I pretty much worship him now that I read Neverwhere. I have Anansi Boys on my shelf, so maybe when I'm done with my Portman book and get through my Gail Giles book, I'll do some more Gaiman.

I have this wacky urge to sketch. I think I might pick up a book on how-to. I guess the writing has awakened something. Maybe.

I'm also going to go down and finish that damn gym room... electrical problems be damned. I'm gonna patch/spackle/sand/paint the hell out of that bitch and get my ass moving. I had wanted to lose 10 pounds by now. WAY behind on that. You'd think that two weeks of no eating and no sleeping would have stressed ten pounds out of me, but no such luck. Tomorrow also is the return to walking. I'm laying my sweat clothes out tonight to make sure I have no excuses in the morning.

But, come Tuesday, I'm back into it. I'm gonna start the rough draft of the next book. When I say rough draft, I mean outline. I have a working outline, so to speak, right now, but it truly is just the skeleton (or probably just marrow and cartilage if you wanna get technical with that analogy). I would say it had holes if it had actual flesh to have holes in. It's one big gaping hole right now.

Good thing about all of this hard work... Keeps me from obsessing like a madwoman about the farm. Oh, don't worry... It's still percolating in there. The obsession isn't gone... it's festering. But at least it's not as painfully superficial as it is when my mind isn't overly busy.

Forgot to tell you crazy people that I'm wearing deodorant. *gasp* I know, I know. Don't lose your panties over it. It's not antipersperant. It's an organic deodorant made from vegetable products. No metal, no grody chemicals. It doesn't smell "good" and I only put it on when I go out--for the benefit of others because it is summer--but I've really come to like my own stench. It's kind of... hot... in a way. Go figure.

Well, the man is back with my veggies, so... au boulot!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Up for air...

A quick one. The past two weeks, I've been swimming in my past. It's been choppy waters. I don't understand why this story never loses it's potency. Every time I read through it, I choke up. It's not because it's sad, per se--though parts of it are really sad--and it's not because I regret anything. I think it's because I'm so completely different now that I can't even remember being that person. I remember the experiences. I remember how they felt and what they looked like and what they tasted, but I sort of remember them as though they were a very vivid past life. I guess that's what it is, huh? I can't relate to those things anymore. So, when I read them, I think I feel sorry for that girl. And somehow, I DO relate. I DO remember. I get lost in the past and I forget I'm the me I am today and I remember. And I feel this strange collision between the past and the now and it crushes me. I want to warn that girl. I want to hold her. I want to slap her. Shake her. And yet, I blush to know that she was me. But I'm not her.

Anyway, enough of that deep shit. I'm done LOGISTICALLY with the first read through and the first 18 chapters are essentially "ready" to send. The other 22 aren't bad, they're just not... "ready." So, I wrote the JMC and told him I'd send it to him by Friday at the latest. I got two peeps reading it and they are really cranking out some good stuff. Great observations. Great questions. Working on this thing is like a puzzle. Most of it on the page, but there are pieces stuck in my head. When *I* read the thing, of COURSE it fits cuz I have all the missing pieces. But when these peeps read it, they point out the pieces that my brain is still holding on to.

I worked nearly straight through yesterday. Broke for lunch and dinner but other than that I worked over 12 hours on it. I feel I got a lot of stuff caught up.

I'm obsessed. I can't talk or think about anything else. I just want to get this done and beautiful and sent away so I no longer have to carry it around anymore.

Other than that, I cook. I finally made spring rolls. And I solved the ancient mystery of spicy thai peanut sauce. *raises fists* And then I made Cha Soba (green tea flavored buckwheat noodles... Japanese) with home made Men Tsuyu (a noodle dipping sauce/cold soup made from shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, white wine and ginger *slurp*). I also made a cherry clafouti which is delicious!!!! I never realized how much I like it until I tasted it with fresh, local organic cherries!!! My father in law has a huge cherry tree in his yard! Sam went there on Sunday with the kids (cuz it was Mother's Day here and my present was an empty house in which to work... as well as a jar opener, a new ice cream scoop and a stainless steel french fry cutter...) and came back with almost two pounds of cherries. I might be able to get more this coming weekend and make some preserves. I also made SCADS of pesto. The usual Eggplant/Zucchini pesto, but also some Mint/Basil/Almond/Garlic pesto, and some Mint/Basil/Cashew. And some Mint/Basil/Walnut/Garlic/Lemon pesto. I'm all about the pesto. I also made some home made salsa with roasted peppers, fresh cilantro (the market dude told Sam that cilantro season is over, so Sam bought up a huge quantity). I think I'm probably going to make some mint jelly this week. I made a HUMONGOUS quantity of cauliflower/lentil soup and froze it. *slurp*

See? When I'm not writing, I'm in the kitchen cooking.

Haven't worked out in the new gym room yet. Sam had an electrician come in and look at the outlets and it turns out the place is a powder keg. I'm a LEEETLE antsy about being down there by myself until they get that shit fixed. I'll still do the final spackle/sand/paint on that HOLE Sam put in the wall, but I'm not moving my equipment down there until they fix the elec. Supposedly, per Sam, there are a few fixtures that have to be moved or taken down altogether. That means there'll be some more spackling/touch up painting to do. Whatever it takes to make the place workoutinable. I'm ready, dudes. I'm getting FAT again.

I'm not pregnant. Bittersweet. I'm not bummed. Just hearing the ticking clock's all.

Get this... Lolo said "Lily" this morning. Twice. Why do I choke up at that? Because they hate each other? Because they take turns being so mean to each other? Because to finally see a SECOND of tenderness between them makes me cry like an old lady? YES. So?

Okay, I'm outta here. Gotta get back to the obsession.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another quickie...


Happy anniversary to me/us! 8 years. We're both taking the day off and spending the day at the movies. woo HOO! (Last week, we went to a Thai resto so that we wouldn't feel pressured to go out to a fancy schmancy resto today... I LOVE popcorn for lunch, so I ain't complainin'!)

Heard back from the JMC (the AMD's assn.). He wants the full manuscript of my pregnancy/adoption memoir. I told him I'd have it to him in two weeks. It's been a week and I'm not done with the revision. I got a couple of peeps readin' it and hopefully will get changes made in time to get it to him by next Tuesday. Send me vibes, y'all.

Sam is looking at properties AND TRAILERS on line... all by himself. I'm almost afraid to get excited. I don't want to jinx things. I'm just crossing my fingers things are falling in to place with the farm. We spent a few hours planning our August trip to visit farms in both Charlotte and Lynchburg (can't be too careful and since they're both essentially in the same region...).

I can NOT get rid of this freakin' cough. It's not a cold. It has to be allergies. I've never suffered from allergies, so I don't know ho to recognize it. All I know is that I don't get much sleep because I can't breathe much. Gonna try to see a doc this afternoon. Cross those fingers that it's not something big.

I'm a day late for my .

The gym room has taken a back seat to the memoir manuscript, but really only needs 1) the final patch of spackle, sand and paint, 2) sweeping and mopping, and 3) the great exodus of exercise equipment. \o/ I do need to get Sam to move a few things around in the closet part, but that's not urgent.

What IS urgent is for me to get going. We're going to go to the city hall this morning and take care of my French national I.D. I'm a citizen already and whatnot, but I need to get my I.D. card so I'll have proof to carry. AND so I can get my passport, hopefully before we go to Charlotte.

So, gotta run.

I need all the positive energy you can send me and I thank you in advance.

Oh, and P.S. on a death note.... I was finishing up the chapter of my memoir where I am living in a women's shelter and I started thinking about the staff there... About the woman that took me in and really influenced me for forever. I went poking around the internet to check what she was up to and found out that she died in 2001. So, if you're thinking about looking up old mentors and thanking them for their influence on your life, do it NOW. DON'T wait!!! Sue never got to see how great my life became (especially compared to what it was). I wish she had seen that her efforts paid off. I'm gonna pay it forward for the rest of my life.

R.I.P. Sue Bradley... Thank you.