Sunday, December 31, 2006


As you will notice, I didn't learn how to use the scanner :), I used a few Dirk had scanned in before, then I just took pictures of my pictures....kind of cheating kind of symbolic--or at least I tell myself that! Tomorrow, I start fresh, good picture, accepting the me of now, and becoming the healthiest, happiest me possible!

Next 20 years.....

This is Kayleigh and me on the day we returned home from the hospital.

This one really scanned badly, but I am the one in the back, Kayleigh (1o yrs old) is beside me, then my ex-bil, my sister, Nathan (2 yrs old) and Athena (6 yrs old) are in the bottom row. This was taken on one of my sister and bil's short trips home. Dirk was out of town and was in deep trouble for missing the family picture day!

This is Just 4 years later and the year I started the Center. I am still in the back, with Kayleigh then Athena and my mom and my sister in front. Sorry about the hot spot!

This is the last picture the family took together and now Kayleigh is missing (as well as long gone ex-bil), this was taken the spring after she left for college and she couldn't make it back. This one is almost 3 years old at this point, yet it seems like yesterday.

Pictures of me, (the first 20 yrs)

In this picture we had just moved from WI to KY and I was about 2 1/2 yrs old. I had lost one younger brother already and my mom was pregnant again.
In this picture I am almost 4 and getting ready to say goodbye to yet another sibling. She was born with polycystic kidneys, same as my brother only she lived for almost 2 years.
By the time this picture is taken, I am an only child again.
Doesn't everybody have at least one old recital picture? I loved being in dance class. I didn't get to stay in to long though because my next sister was born.
She's two in this picture and I am almost 9. This is when I started riding the public bus system after school, by myself. It was also when I started hanging out on college campuses...because that is where my mom worked.
This picture was taken very shortly after we 'moved up' in the world and were living in the 'it' neighborhood. Too bad I never fit in with the 'it' crowd.
Entering those awkward teen years! I was almost 13 in this picture. Every bit a geek and nerd! I was on the rifle team, ROTC Drill team (spinning the rifles), and playing role-playing games as well as investigating the occult.
The last picture taken before I got married. Followed a couple years later by getting pregnant. Just before my body when haywire....

Next post I will try and find pictures that sum up the last 20 years....Then on News Year Day, I my goal is to post a brand new picture of myself that I like that will help me keep plugging along trying to figure out what went wrong biologically.

What I watched last night.....

From its website: "When Do We Eat?" is the story of the "world's fastest Seder" gone horribly awry. It's about an old school dad (Michael Lerner) who's as tough on his sons as his father (Jack Klugman) is on him. On this night, however, one of the boys (Ben Feldman) slips Dad a dose of special, psychedelic Ecstasy in order "to give him a new perspective."

Meanwhile, Mom (Lesley Ann Warren) brings a handsome stranger to dinner and the kids take sides. By the end of the night, however, Dad's visions turn him into a modern day Moses intent on leading this hungry group to the promised land of family forgiveness.

Of course they're all so stubborn, it'd be easier to part the Red Sea.

I know it is out of season, but as I was looking for an 'on demand' movie this title jumped out at me. I had never heard of it, I am not sure it made it into major release, but since I have been writing a play about a seder for a couple years now, I said what the hell and ordered it.

This is a great movie. Even if you have never been to a seder, you would be able to get the underlying message-- no matter how disfunctional, families are what connect us all and us to God.

THis movie does a great job of showing how seder is about freedom from bondage, the bondage of material things, emotional hurts, sins, slavery, genocide, and even our own self-doubts. It also does a great job of making the point that seder is for everyone, and that seder is outside linear time.

Just like seder it is layered with meanings. On the surface it is a screwball comedy, in the middle it is a universal heartwarming family story, and underneath it all it is a wonderful theological statement about own human connection to God.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stages of life....

I think this is a great time to have a blog. My putterings are teaching me many things I used to rely on Dirk to do for me. He doesn't have the energy to do what I need or want, so here I am becoming much more comfortable with this technology.

My ponderings right now all seem to focus on me. In a way it seems self indulgent, silly , and very awkward, but at the same time necessary. I am embarking on a new stage of life. Before I set out on the journey I want to explore the stages I am leaving behind.

I was happy to leave my teenagehood behind! I was never comfortable being a teen. All my friends were older, they were all males, and we conquered many worlds through role playing games. So even before I chronologically left teenhood I escaped it other ways. Getting married a few weeks after turning 19 kind of ended it for good.

Young wife, mother, student, photographer, professor, tv producer, film maker, teacher, and Christian Formation director followed in very quick succession(actually most overlapped at one point I had 5 paying jobs and 2 volunteer jobs). I didn't have time to stop and breath, much less think for the next 20 years. Dirk and I struggled finacially, with time mangament, priorities, and just existing some years. With all our stuggles we held on to our common values and our faith. Most of these have now evened out, but I have also learned that struggle can lead to growth, so I don't resent it as much as I used to.

Next stage was becoming a full-time mentor and business owner. It was super exciting at first, I still LOVE what I do, but it now almost takes care of itself. The challenge and personal growth have slowed so much that I am losing my edge. I am so used to doing that I don't know how to be still. Even prayer for me is best when I am doing...rosary, labrynth, advent wreath, reading, etc...

So, now I am taking care of my mom who still hasn't regained much physicial strength since her bout with cancer. I am taking care of a husband who is very sick, but the doctors are baffled. I am no longer taking care of children. Feeling like I lost both Nathan and Kayleigh this year has been a hard adjustment, much harder than I was prepared for. Athena is here physically (when not traveling), but is emotionally gone--and she should be because she is also preparing to leave and it will be harder on her than the other two.

I am starting to feel invisible until someone wants something. When we moved into this house 7 years ago we had 8 people sharing equally in the workload daily. Now, I have to do just about everything... some of the center kids have stepped up and help when they are here, but when on long breaks it becomes clear that if I don't do it, it doesn't get done. I don't stress about housework too much, but there are 3 cats, 5 goats, 2 dogs, and 3-4 adults that need to be fed 2-3 meals a day. It is probably good for me, but I often resent having to walk the dogs twice a day. And the house does need basic care, the kitchen needing lots of care while I am learning how to cook the NT way. I love being at home, but I do wish I had somewhere to go besides church and running errands.

So for the new stage of life I am embarking on here is what I am looking for:

Classes of some kind (cooking, cake decorating, art.... I don't think it really matters)

Getting healthy, continuing regular exercise, eating the healthiest possible way, helping the doctors figure out why my body's endrocrine system doesn't work.

Friends that meet for dinner or coffee at least once a month.

Babies--probably baby goats, maybe baby rabbits or miniture ponies, but I need some kind of baby to care for ..... gee didn't I just say how I resent being the only one caring for the animals :)

People to challenge me to create, write, maybe even publish, paint, photograph, and who know and like me beyond my connections to my family.

All this seems like me, me, me and that is very, very hard for someone who has never put themselves first...

Friday, December 29, 2006

I am shocked!!!!

I am nerdier than 90% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Living with Dirk must have really rubbed off! I took this quiz to prove I wasn't very nerdy, but here I end up with a score of 90%. Talk about shifting who you think you are......

Why no picture of me....

I was looking for a picture of me, but I can't find one right now that I want to scan into the computer....besides that would mean learning how to use the scanner! So not today, but I will maybe have Dirk or Athena take a picture of me in the next day or two. I want a picture the same way I want a good scale.

I want to record who I am, not just who I want to be. Without a scale or picture staring at me I can pretend I still look like I did 23 plus years ago :) Recently, I have seriously started to think about that identity. So many things are the same and yet so many things are different.

Then I taught homeschooled kids, now I teach homeschooled kids.

Then I played with painting and photography, now I play with painting and photography.

Then I was actively involved at church, now I am actively involved with a different church (same denomination).

Then I was writing for fun (screenplays, and comic books), now I am writing for fun (blogs, plays and novels). Nothing worth publishing!!!!

Then Dirk and I had just become a couple, now Dirk and I have shared a life-time together.

Then I wasn't sure where I was headed in life, but I wasn't going to be a TEACHER! Now I am not a teacher, I am a mentor :) but I am not sure who I am past that.

Then I lived in Louisville with my dad, now I live in Louisville and my mom lives with me.

I keep asking myself how things can be so much the same, even though I have done so many other things in the last 23 plus years!

Introducing the family II

This is Dirk, my friend for over 25 years, my husband for over 22 years. He looks pretty awful right now since he has been very sick with multiple issues since early August and actually on medical leave from work since October. This was his favorite Christmas present. We really are like two sides of the same coin. Of one mind in all the things that matter and complimentary on all other things. I can saw without hesitation he completes me.

My step-father, who is now an over the road truck driver and only home 1-2 days a month for a few hours. He is happy, and that makes all of us happier. He has had a hard time adjusting to life outside the military.
My mom, who probably isn't to happy I used this picture, but it is the best recent one I have of her. She is smiling, has her hair and good color. Our relationship has had its ups and downs, but living together and working together as adults has been very healing and very positive.

My sister, Athena and Nathan's mom affects me a lot more than I often realize. When I stop and try and figure out why I am doing something that seems odd or enabling, I can usually trace it back to when I was a kid responsible for my little sister. I will also give into her, and her whims when I know it is not the best idea in the world just to help keep peace and family harmony. I love her more like a wayward daughter than a sister and that tends to cause some tension.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Introducing the family

This is Nathan, my nephew. I been helping to raise and home educate him since he was 6 months old. This year at 14, he entered public school for the first time. He is my challenge. He pushes every boundary he can find. He refuses to believe in gravity or his own mortality. There will probably be lots of post about my near heart attacks in reguards to Nathan.
This is Athena. She is my neice, but I have had her at least part time since she was 2 yrs old. She is a senior this year and already has senioritis pretty bad. I am not sure she is totally ready to go away, but I also think she is the kind of person who is never 'ready' for something until they just do it. She has auditioned and applied to some pretty good schools. She is the one most like me....She was even complaining the other day that her handwriting was just like mine.
This is Kayleigh, she will probably be the subject of many of my posts. We are going through a huge change in our relationship right now. It is hard for me and I feel like I am in uncharted waters. A lot of my thoughts lately revolve around how to help without enabling. She has been independent all her life, but now suddenly after moving to NYC she seems to have lost her edge, or her go-get-'em spirit. I want her to feel supported, but not so comfortable that she losses her hunger to succeed.

Well, I am need to get off now. Tomorrow I will introduce Dirk and my mom. It is hard for me to define myself separate from them anymore. I am not sure I really wnat to, but it would be nice to have part of my life that is connected to something else, too.

5 things you don't know about me....

This is really hard because I don't hold too much back when chatting online.....

1) No matter how hard I try I always fail foreign language classes: Spanish and Latin in grade school, Latin and French in middle school, Latin and French again in highschool, then German in college (my transcript says I passed with a C, but that was just because the professor actually gave me an A for effort--- I failed my finals with a 30%).... After 12 years of teaching Latin, I might be able to actual pass a class now :)

2) I hate shopping for myself with a passion! I only do it when my clothes are falling apart and my shoes have holes.

3) My bedroom is a huge mess, like so messy there is only a path to the bed.

4) I onced played Ceasar III for 60 hours straight only getting up or pausing to go to the bathroom.

5) My prom date was my best friend and very, very gay! It was a wonderful night.

I am supposed to tag people, but since I don't know if anyone will read this space, I am going to tag everyone who reads and hasn't done it yet! Just leave me a comment so I can read your 5 things.

A new space to mess up!

All this reading and posting has made me really want a blog that is just for me to play on.

I have my new blog for project 365 and I have one old mentoring blog, and one semi-active mentoring blog. I am getting really frustrated with Homeschoolblogger though. Instead of getting easier to use it is much harder.

This blogs only purpose is for me to have a place to ponder that is not specific to anything. I also wanted a place to put all my favorite links together. Right now they are in many different spots and I want one central location!

This blog will also be where I work on my computer skills. I should know how to do a lot more than I do. I have relied on Dirk too long. I can do it! I will learn how!!!!