Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanks and Giving

Thanksgiving is such a hectic, wonderful, crazy time. It's when my extended family of 28 cousins and their kids come home to NY and we all hang out all weekend. Thanksgiving day is one of my aunts and her kids and their kids and my family. The next day is lunch at the Irish pub with at least 20 people. Friday night is the adults for soup and sandwiches at another of the aunt's. Saturday my mom throws the Peanut Butter and Jelly party for all the cousins' kids who couldn't come to the party the night before. And this year, my mom and I hosted a Southern Living at Home party on Sunday. Oh, and at least three of my cousins and their children stay with my parents (still my home for the holidays, too).

This year, I didn't mind all the people and all the craziness. Last year I was going out of my skull trying to find somewhere not invaded by little people and their loudmouth parents, but this year I had more patience and more love for my relatives. It's good to be home.

I emailed a professional photographer today for advice. His name is Stanley Klein and he's based out of Pittsburgh. He's traveled all over the world and his pictures are truly art. Find his galleries at www.stanleykleinphotos.com. I saw some of his pictures at a local art show and I was fascinated- spent about an hour talking with him. I love meeting people who have passion- passion for anything. I spent an evening with a neighbor of mine once who was a carpenter. He talked about where he'd been and what he'd worked on and how he did what he did... it was amazing to hear the love for his craft. I feel this passion for photography and showing the beauty of life. I want to find out how to share it.

May you be ever thankful for the gifts you've been given. May you give of yourself to all those you encounter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


There's just a light dusting on the streets and houses and trees... and it's just the way I like it. Silent and gentle. Kinda slows everything down a little bit. Not enough to cause a panic and send everyone out for emergency supplies of bread and milk and beer. Just enough to make it seem like Thanksgiving is here in upstate NY.

I have so many fond memories of snow and snow-related activities. Sledding, building the world's largest snowman (or so we thought), building castles and fortresses, snow angels... When you live in the snowbelt, you better find something to do with the 5 months of the year that you have the white stuff! There was so much joy attached to snow as a kid. Over the years, I've grown to not like it quite as much.

Tonight, though, is the magic kind of snow. The kind where anything could happen and it wouldn't be entirely a surprise. This snow.... it makes me warm instead of cold.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I've been thinking about love lately. Not love as a romantic notion (though a little romance would not be unwelcome... know anyone?), but love as a relationship between all the people in our lives. Love as a force to be reckoned with.

Normally I don't tend to wax philosophical (at least not out loud- normally, I said!), but the force of emotions I've been feeling lately have made me think. The love I have for my family is so intense sometimes, so raw and consuming.

What would I be willing to do because I love that much? Will I ever love a man that much? I believe I have loved before. It definitely seems that "love" has been more of an act than a relationship lately... which is okay. I can only take so much intensity.

Today is my mom's birthday. As she gets older, I want to protect her more. I want to make sure she is happy and healthy. I make sure she knows I love her. My gift to her this year is going to be my time more than the pretty decorative wooden bowl I bought her. I am going home for the whole 5 days surrounding Thanksgiving to help with the myriad of family events we have planned.

Maybe it's Thanksgiving. Yes, I think I'll blame it on that. It's making me squishy. I'm an emotional mushball and I think I like it.

I find that I want to pursue photography more and more lately. The problem is I CAN'T just yet. I need to take a class, I think. Maybe? Dunno. My cousin suggested taking some of my stuff to amateur shows, but it would have to be large and mounted, blah blah blah... good idea, and I would love to have one of my hobbies make money for me, but... We'll see. I don't know.

Random tonight. It's late. One more day until I get to help make pies.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I need sleep. I know that's my problem. I need one night of long, uninterrupted, 8+ hours of blissful, quiet, deep sleep.

I went shopping today. What makes me think that shopping when I'm broke is a good idea? But I got to spend more quality time with lil sis. She and I spent a good hour in Claire's looking at earrings... I wanted to poke my eyes out with one of the hair sticks after she turned the SAME earring carousel around for the fifth time, but I was patient... at least semi-patient....

I don't want to work tomorrow. I know no one WANTS to go work on Mondays, but ugh.... and I have to close a case tomorrow that really NEEDS to stay open. Damn politics. Damn Greeks or Romans or whoever invented them.

Is there Fix-a-Flat for life?

Saturday, November 19, 2005


You win some, you lose some. This was the latter variety. I know, there always has to be a loser in every competition (and don't give me any of that "everyone's a winner" sunshine up the ass... you know what I'm talking about) and I would love to see the ones who deserve to win be the ones who take home the title...

I don't mean to sound bitter or a poor sport. But the team they played against... they were mean. Unsportsmanlike mean. They took two of our girls out because of injury and one was intentional. One girl went to the hospital. What makes adults think this is okay to encourage in high school students? Why play dirty?

Beside the point.

As my little sister came over to the fence after the game, I watched the tears run down her face and immediately my own eyes were wet. I can't stand seeing her cry. I just held her and told her what a great job she has done this season and how well they all played today. She's entitled to her sadness, grief of what could have been a wonderful celebration. And I... I hope for her. I hope she continues to grow from what she has learned. I hope she learns the balance between allowing herself emotions and staunching them. How does that relate to the game? It doesn't. It's a family thing.

I think she knows I'll always be there for her. I think she knows she can cry on my shoulder anytime.

Go Mustangs.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mustang Pride

I watched my little sister's soccer team win the state Section III semi-finals this morning in the freezing cold. It was 26 degrees, with windchill it felt like 19. I wrapped myself up in a wool coat, scarf, hat, gloves and wool blanket and screamed my lungs out for my girls...

She's like a daughter to me sometimes. We're 10 1/2 years apart. I've been there for every moment of her development. I am so proud of her today. She only played 15 minutes of the game. Her one real talent in soccer is her ability to throw the ball at least 15 yards at a time. I don't know where she got the upper body strength that she has , but she can beat all the rest of us in arm wrestling and has for the last three years! She doesn't play much because she isn't fast, but her heart... She's 100% when she's on the field, and even when she's off. She didn't put her warm-ups on for the whole second half of the game, just to show Coach that she was ready to go in if she got the chance. I did mention it felt like 19 degrees, right?

I may never have children. I may never get married. I'm not sure of the future yet, and I am so grateful for this young woman in my life. Forgive me, I'm having an emotional moment, but I never knew I would love my siblings this much. I feel like she's mine, you know?

My little sister is the most beautiful person in my life. Love makes us all beautiful.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Light Through Yonder Window

Oh, wait... there's no light through windows here. The sun doesn't shine past November 1.

That picture, the last post... it was the start of my wannabe photography. Well, maybe not the start, but it's the first picture I ever took for no reason whatsoever. The way the light was coming through the curtains, the lay of the shadows on the table... I understood light as poetry for a minute.

I dreamt about ice in a jungle last night. Oh, there was much more to the dream- a missing girl, a ghost and an airport, but the ice in the jungle... I was talking to one of my coworkers about my random dreams and she decided they were linked to my love of reality TV- I don't like the predictable. I like the idea that it hasn't been scripted for me. Yeah, I know reality TV isn't all reality, blah blah blah... don't ruin it for me!

Melancholy tonight. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I need some sunshine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Music to My Eyes

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Monday, November 14, 2005

The Christening

I've given in. The world of online journaling has summarily captured, tortured and brought me to my knees....

I've decided life is a little too complicated today. What happened to stopping to smell the roses? Ooooh, I bet it was allergies. I hope tomorrow is less complicated. Today is bad because everytime I exert myself over a slow meander, I cough so hard my lungs try to leap directly through my windpipe onto the ground in front of me. I apologize... you didn't need to know that. Double dose of Nyquil outta put me out of my misery, at least for the evening.

I've always been a journaler. Is that a word? I'm not a journalIST... just a journalER. I have piles of half-filled journals in boxes and on shelves. There's a writer in there somewhere. There's definitely a wannabe photographer and artist... let's add journalist to the list, shall we?

Time for the dreamless sleep of chemical-induced slumber...