I think I’ve figured out why I’m here…

•December 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Blogging that is…I love to write…it has helped me at times get through parts of my life and even when I’m in a good place- I love to write and get creative about it.

I blogged alot when MySpace was big…it had a nice blogging tool and I had a good following. It was awesome- I still have my MySpace so that I can go back and read what I wrote at one point. When I moved to Facebook- it was the one thing that forum was missing…I mean- I could post ‘notes’ but really- that just seemed odd AND Facebook has it set up so that it basically forces your notes on everyone or no one…boo

I started this blog because I feel like writing. Unfortunately- I always get that creative urge when I’m NOWHERE near a freakin’ computer.

I named this blog (kind of) after a line from one of my favorite people of all time- Gilda Radner. The truth is- it is always something.

I’ve figured one of the categories that will live here- stories I’ve written for my kids. See- I make up stories all the time for my kids. Sometimes they are really short:

Once upon a time there were two kittens

They loved snowcones and lived in a barn

The end.

I know- Shakespeare is oozing from me…

Several weeks ago- my kids asked me to REALLY write them a story…so I did. They loved it. Probably because they figured it out that it was about them and dammit- mom had a moral even.

So there we go. WOOHOO

-A

How Audible.com helped me lose a little over 20lbs….My guide for how I got my run back…

•November 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I am pretty sure that in my past life I was a sloth and that I maintain some of those sloth-like ways in this life. I admit w guilt that I have days where I lay in bed and do absolutely nothing- and we aren’t talking because I have a cold or flu…but because it’s a Saturday and I think this might be one of my favorite hobbies. It’s not that I haven’t led an active life for the most part- but I think part of why I have is because I know I could easily spend the days away in my bed doing nothing…

A little background. I played sports throughout my childhood, I settled on Volleyball as my favorite when I was 6 (as a sidenote- I learned how to play volleyball at our family friend’s house as they threw weekly volleyball/bbq parties and the group of adults was primarily made up of the cast and writing staff of “Almost Live.” Bill Nye taught me how to serve a volleyball and while he was a smart guy- we never had discussions about the physics of serving or centrifugal force and the only time conversations on gravity came up was when he asked if I was ok after I tripped over my own feet…but I digress). I loved sports as a kid- I was pretty good at basketball and I rode my bike EVERYWHERE in middle school and high school. I love sports as an adult-  I’ve done the Seattle to Portland bike ride 7.5 times- but after rehabbing from 2 fairly decent injuries/surgeries, and as I get holder… being a sloth sounds a lot nicer on the bones…if not motivated properly- I’ll do nothing.

Unfortunately, having been an athlete for most of my life- I eat like an athlete and my metabolism and body type resemble that of my Dad’s Hispanic frame vs My Mom’s “They called me Twiggy in High school” frame. That being said- I tend to carry my weight ok and I’m finally hitting an age where I am less judgmental towards myself for not being able to prance around in a teeny-tiny bikini. I do however like my body better when I feel strong. When I can feel a solid muscle in my thigh without flexing and I know that I can do a 7 mile hike without walking like Frankenstein for the next week and most of all- I can eat whatever I want without having to buy a new wardrobe because I’ve outgrown my current one- I feel the best about my physical self.

As my title indicates- I got my run back- as in- I did have it once and now I am trying to get it back. While I stated all of the sports and whatnot I did as a kid- I did not run…in fact…I avoided it as much as possible. I have calves that were built for jumping- fast twitch muscles. I think I averaged a 7 minute mile at the height of my athletic strength.  I first started “running” a little over a year after I compression fractured my spine when I was 28. My son was 3 months old when the injury occurred and after a crappy Dr and wrestling with what appeared to be the loss of an active life based on his diagnosis….I found a Dr who was actually a spine specialist for athletes and I started to get better and stronger and he encouraged me to start biking again. After not doing much for a year, biking the long distances I used to do was incredibly hard. Also- because I had fractured my lower back- riding a long distance or even a medium distance hurt my back.  I decided to start cross-training to regain back strength and I would go to the gym in the evening and use the elliptical. One night I ran into my very sweet neighbor, JenJen, at the gym and we became workout buddies. JenJen was the best workout partner- not only did I find it so much easier to get motivated to go workout because she was counting on me- but we pushed each other to get better. I swore up and down to her that I was NOT a runner…and while I was getting way better on the elliptical and my biking was improved and I was ready to challenge myself even more- also I think she called me a wimp and told me to suck it up and try…we would give each other a hard time and push each other and be the support we each needed and it worked- in no time we were running a 5k a month, planning the next and enjoying a workout buddy romance….and then she moved to Puyallup…and while I maintained it and was planning a triathalon and maybe a 10k in the coming year…it was never the same. Thankfully I found out I was pregnant w my 2nd kiddo so instead of slowly trailing off and losing my drive due to only being accountable to myself- I had a legitimate excuse.

I tried to start running again and get that excitement back after #2, I started walking a lot and while I started running again- it wasn’t strong and it was anything but consistent. I really had grown to enjoy running but when I had stopped and then had a baby in between- the learning curve for my body was discouraging and I just lost the drive. I started and stopped again several times over the next several years never really getting it back. I biked primarily and I was ok with that- although I missed the strength I had from cross training w running. And then injury #2 happened and I walked w a cane for almost a year before having reconstructive hip surgery. My strength and drive took a huge dive. As I’ve attempted several times to start doing something active several times over the last 3 years since surgery- nothing has stuck. I gained weight in my legs for the first time ever! My clothes shrunk as I grew and I felt defeated…maybe I just had to get used to the new, softer me. I tried changing my eating habits to lose weight. I started running here and there, but again- I was failing over and over to make something stick- or NOT stick- to my abs, thighs, butt…

Last spring, as I was looking over the hill at my 39th birthday- the mother to two amazing and wonderful, and BUSY kids. Spending most of my time with them going to dance classes, doing homework, cleaning, doing dishes and all the mom things and feeling a bit lost in not having time for myself to start doing the things that I missed doing. I started hiking again- but due to my schedule, not consistently. Great when I did it- but not often enough. I decided that I would start using my night-owl proclivities to have time to myself.

In my realization that the only time I have to myself is after my kids go to bed and I’ve finished puttering around getting last bits of the day done, I decided that after 9pm most nights (10 or 11pm others) I can finally do something for myself! Going into this- I had no intentions of losing weight. After failing numerous times in years prior- I didn’t even set a weight goal. I didn’t weight myself when I started or on a regular basis. I happened to be weighed when I went into my regular Dr. appts and I didn’t need that stress and downer any more often! My goal was simple- I wanted to feel stronger and more like myself. I wanted to get out of the house and have some time to myself and I am lucky to have dogs, big ones that made this time a viable one, a much safer one for me to go out for these late night adventures. I have always listened to music to work out- I am a music junky and I have never thought to listen to something else to get me up and going. However, around this time, I had been on a huge podcast kick and had just started a trial for audible.com.

I love to read, I love the movies my mind makes up for what I am reading- I have an awesome imagination and I LOVE TO READ! I wasn’t sure if I would like my books read to me…so I tried it out w some books I already had read. I wanted to see if it would draw me in as much as reading the book myself had- would it give me as vivid of a mental movie?

I remember setting out w my dogs to try something new. I decided to listen to the book- It was already pulling me in and I had the same connection where I couldn’t put it down- and this was a book I had read several times prior to ordering on audible. I started out walking w my dogs that first week listening to “The Girl who plays w Fire” and was hooked.

In week two, I would start running a bit, warming up muscles that hadn’t been used in some time. I would extend my routes as I got more into the book- not wanting to end my time.

I lost my first 5lbs the first month (June) listening to all three of the “Girl w the Dragon Tattoo” series- I listened to part two and three twice and I still go back to listening to these titles when I don’t have another book to listen to- Lizbeth Salandar makes me feel strong and like I can conquer anything. Also- these books are written well and the reader on Audible does a great job reading it.

I went on to listen to Stephen King’s “Dr. Sleep” (follow up to “The Shining- which I listened to after) and then his 11/22/63, I listened to the first two books of the Waverly Bryson series- great summer fluff reading and “Team of Rivals” by Doris Goodwin because I’m fascinated w politics through the ages. While I wasn’t weighed again until September- I’d managed to lose another 18lbs. During the time between the first month I started this and September- I got to where I was running for 6 miles a day- various routes through out my area. I looked forward to my nightly adventures and getting back into my book. I enjoyed running w new friends in each of these books. I also learned there are some books that don’t work well for running at my chosen time….in my Stephen King kick- I had gone back to listen to “It” – a book that scared the crap out of me as a kid- but that I also really enjoyed. While I definitely ran faster- it was not healthy and I remember stopping my run one night, scared out of my wits that a creepy person was getting ready to jump out of the shadows, I changed the book back to one that made me feel strong.

I’ve had some lulls- as the weather changed to fall- running late in the cool nights in more layers took some of my motivation as did a cold that wouldn’t quit. I am back running again regularly, I just downloaded “Yes, Please” by Amy Poehler- I’ve been on a kick of these types- listening to one of my favorite titles “It’s Always Something” by Gilda Radner (My blog name is a nod to her and this book) and “The Pelee Project” by Jane Christmas. I love that when my body is going thru the drag of not wanting to push further- my mind convinces me to keep trying so I can hear “just this next part.” Also- running w dogs- they don’t really take “NO” for an answer…they start pulling their leashes out and I can no longer run around the house in workout clothes and my running shoes as they think it’s time to go.

I still listen to music sometimes when I run, but I credit Audible.com and soothing voices with giving me my motivation to get my run back and in the process- much needed me time, strength and endurance I had lost, and less sloth tendancies…who knew?

Things My mom would never let me tell you about her…AKA: This is my mom

•May 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

There are many things we learn and know about our moms as we get older, I think especially as daughters because these are our first figures of ‘womanhood.’ I think a lot about this as I look at my own son and daughter and want to make sure they grow up healthy and happy.

Things about my mom that I marvel at:

  1. My mom has a strength that is undeniable. She got married to my Dad at 19, while pregnant with me (she was 20 when I was born), on a Friday the 13th, AND they went camping for their honeymoon!!! They are still married today and I had a pretty amazing childhood even with the bumps and bruises that happen. She is the youngest of all of her siblings and has always exuded this strength and responsibility that isn’t always seen in the youngest child. I am amazed at what my mom (and my dad too- but Father’s Day is next month J) has done with her life and what she was able to give to me in mine…I started having kids several years later than she did and as I turn the same age she was when I graduated from High School- I marvel at what she imparted on me throughout my childhood…my mom really is my strength and the person I go to when I need my best friend.
  2. She is ALWAYS going to ‘mom’ me….my mom has always wanted to make sure I’m the best person I can be and doing the right thing….she still, to this day (and mind you I’m shy of my 39th birthday and have 2 kids of my own!) will question what I’m doing and make sure I’m not meeting random people on Facebook in person because you know…it’s dangerous. As much as it makes me crazy- I also know it’s from a place of love and now I can say to her what I couldn’t as a kid: “Seriously?! What kind of person do you think I am? Did you raise me to be like that?!” 🙂
  3. I am thankful that I get to have her mom me- I remember when my Grandma Carmen died- vividly.  As I’ve gotten older and have seen other friends lose their moms and have gotten to hold onto mine- I realize how precious time is…I’ve learned that from my mom. I have gotten with my mom something she didn’t get to have with hers- I’ve gotten to go from kid to adult-kid to adult-friend-kid…we are truly friends and it is amazing…and I feel really guilty still for all the mornings I argued with her and was a general shit…and especially for all the times I ‘hated’ her…
  4. My mom is perfectly fine being herself…and she doesn’t care who knows or sees it. My mom timed her ‘I only want to wear sweats when I’m not at work’ phase for when I was in middle school. My mom dragged my red-faced, snotty, hormonal, embarrassed self out to do errands or go shopping wearing the most goofy outfits (she’s tall and she didn’t care that her pants were high waters, weren’t colors that should be worn together, etc.). My mom was all business and she taught me that it’s not the clothes that make the woman- but the woman who has the confidence that makes the woman. My mom taught me to look past things that weren’t important and how to accept people as they are.
  5. My mom treated me with the upmost respect when it came to making decisions about my body. She was honest with me from a young age about what it meant to be a woman and decisions we had to make that weren’t the same as boys. One day in the car, she told me that if I was in a place that I needed to have permission to go to my Doctor and get birth control- she would support me in that decision. I was in a pretty serious relationship and had already gone to Planned Parenthood to take care of that for myself- because of what my mom taught me, and I had already lost my virginity. I told her as much in that conversation and we had a really nice talk about it. I have always trusted my mom with things that are scary and I’m thankful beyond everything for that. The same couldn’t be said about when I was getting a bad grade…I’m sorry I lied about all the times I wasn’t doing well in math!
  6. Family is important- love and accept the people that were given to you through blood. As I said, my mom is the youngest (of 5)…we lived next door to my grandmother when she passed in a tragic way. I was about 4, so my mom was about 24 (now, think about what you were like at 24….). She took on all of the coordination that was associated with my grandmother’s passing and dealing with the family property for the next few decades.  She loves and accepts her siblings and family as they are (not that it isn’t difficult at times)- on both sides of my family- and let me tell you- both sides are incredibly quirky!
  7. Humor is a gift. My mom comes from a long line of goofiness…I LOVE when she laughs, I LOVE when we get to that point laughing where we can’t talk and we both have tears streaming down our faces. My mom and I don’t really look alike (I look like my dad without a doubt)…but when we are laughing- I look just like her!
  8. My mom cannot bake a boxed cake…we still laugh to this day about the cherry chip brick she baked when I was seven….the same age I was when I took over baking for the family…I LOVE baking stuff still to this day- thanks to my mom!
  9. A burger from Dicks tastes the best when I get to share it with my mom! Whenever my dad travelled for work when I was a kid, my mom and I would go get burgers and shakes from Dicks and watch “Strange Brew.” Our time doing that was something I looked forward to more than anything when I knew my dad would be gone.  Our little things like this are why I have things I share with my two kiddos.
  10. My mom is the most beautiful woman to me. She doesn’t always (if ever) see in herself what makes her beautiful and wonderful- she just is who she is (she will tell you this as well). She and I couldn’t look more different and I remember looking at her as I was growing up wishing I had her blond hair, her height (she’s still taller than me!), and her tiny waist! She in turn always told me I was beautiful just as I am as she waved off my compliments.  She laughs off when you point out her physical beauty (but is more accepting of compliments on her inner beauty). I wish she could see herself as I see her.

I love you mom, every day. I am so incredibly proud to get to be your daughter and I hope to pass on what you taught me to M and B. You are amazing and I know Grandma Carmen looks down and sees it- because you really, really, REALLY are!

Love,

Amanda

There is no ‘If’

•December 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My heart broke into a million pieces thinking I, for any amount of time, let you down, hurt you.

There is no ‘if’ preceding ‘I love him’. There is no ‘if’ preceding ‘we have a future together.’  When it comes to you, the place you’ve taken up in my heart and all of the right I feel about you- there is no ‘if.’

But when you said those words, albeit truthful and needed. My heart broke in a million pieces. If I had done things differently, you wouldn’t have been hurt- even momentarily- if at all.

If I had only realized how much my delay, my standing in the same place- thinking I was moving forward when I was standing in quicksand. If I had only opened my eyes and realized I was on a path to hurt you, fail at giving you what you need. If I had only done this sooner…I would have given you all that you needed for it to be to be right from the start.  If I had realized that before we met…before I fell in love with you.

If I get the chance. If I am lucky….I will do everything in the world to make this right.

But, there is no ‘if’

Because I am lucky.

Because although I felt broken the moment you said it. Because as the realization of what it would be like if….if…..if I weren’t in your heart any longer, if I lost the perfect fit to my imperfect self…I felt completely lost and withered.

But you did as you always do and you didn’t let me fall alone, I had you in those moments I flailed. In being truthful and honest, you gave me that chance to open the door to not look back someday in the future and think ‘If he only had told me…if I only could have done something more…..If I only had known.’

If we can make it when we fall, be truthful when we struggle…then there is no ‘if.’

Story #1: Two Little Monkeys vs the Howler Zombkeys of Sibling Rivalry

•December 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Once upon a time there was a monkey and a bigger monkey- by only slightly. The two little monkeys were siblings.

The bigger monkey was a boy monkey. He had a golden-brown mohawk that went  from the top of his head, all the way to the tip of his curly q tail. He was by far the coolest of all the boy monkeys his age and fancied himself an inventor.  His name was “Macertang,” which his momkee told him meant “Gift from the Clown Monkey Gods”

The smaller monkey was a girl monkey. She had long beautiful hair the color of dark red plums. She loved wearing her pretty hair in braided monkeytails and was by far the sweetest and funniest of all the girl monkeys. Her name was “Bellarilla,” which her momkee told her meant “Comes with beauty and silliness as gifts from the Clown Monkey Gods”

Macertang and Bellarilla were wonderful and loving to everyone they met. So nice, they were known for their polite manners and gracious, helpful attitudes. Their momkee and dadorilla were extremely proud.

One day, the sky above Macertang and Bellarilla’s house began turning an odd shade of purplish-green. All of the monkeys in the neighborhood looked out their windows at this strange sky.  All wondering what was going on?  The sky hadn’t looked like this in so long, many couldn’t remember or didn’t know what it meant. Bellarilla and Macertang had certainly never seen this before.

Bellarilla ran from her window to Macertang’s room, where to get to his window, where he was currently standing transfixed by the changing sky, she had to climb over a mountain of toys and then swim through a lake of gorlegos. Basically navigate over, under, and through all of the toys that Mace had played with over the course of the last week- but hadn’t bothered to put away.

” MACERTANG!! WHAT IS GOING ON?! DO YOU HEAR THAT STRANGE NOISE?! Bella screamed at her brother, although she was only steps away from him.

” I DON’T KNOW! IT’S TOTALLY CRAZY!!!” He screamed back while jumping up and down. Bella joined him in jumping and throwing her hands dramatically to her head.

The noise was getting louder and louder.  A low moan and giggle getting closer and closer to the family’s neighborhood and home. What was making that noise?

All of the sudden another sound filled the air…

” QUIT JUMPING AROUND AND FIND A QUIET ACTIVITY YOU TWO!!!!” came the voice of their momkee. They quickly stopped jumping, but the noise from outside had gotten closer and louder.  Macertang’s favorite comic statuette “Iron Ape,” sitting on the shelf above his desk was sliding around and he grabbed it just before it fell.

Mace and Bella looked at each other- Eyes wide, mouths dropped open. They quickly looked out the window again.  They could see this dark moving mass of tails and what looked like….monkeys, but different.

“HEY YOU TWO!!! YOUR MOMKEE SAID TO QUIT JUMPING AROUND!!! WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING? YOU SOUND LIKE A HERD OF ELEPHANTS!” yelled Dadorilla as he came flying up the stairs to see what his two little monkeys were up to. As he got to Macertang’s doorway- he stopped suddenly.

Barely visible over the mountain of toys, both kids were silently pressed up against the windows, tails standing straight up and curled over their heads.  Mace turned to see his dad blocking the doorway, mouth agape and eyes wide and getting wider.

“Uh, Hi Dad!….I was cleaning my room and then Bella come in and said I HAD to look out the window and then she was jumping all over the place! It was HER, NOT me!! Mace quickly laid out in an effort to not get into trouble for all the noise, no shame in throwing his little sister under the trouble bus.

At this point Bellarilla realized what was happening and she tore her eyes away from the goings on outside. Her little fists and feet clenched, her tail curled tightly, and her eyes narrowed.

“HE’S! LYING!!” she fired back, “He was looking out the window when he was supposed to be cleaning AND he was jumping too!”

They then turned on each other, hands in fists and alternating between waving and pointing blame at each other, eyes narrowed tightly as if they believed they were firing lasers at one another. All the kindness they showed to others was gone in an instant. Yelling over each other in a flurry of accusations. Little did they know that this fight might be the one to lead to the end of everything as they knew it.

To explain how this fight would be their downfall, we have to go back earlier in the day, earlier in the week….as far back as when they first were hurtful to each other. THAT is when the trouble began, it only got worse with the first tattle, the first yelling fight and mean words to each other…and especially the first hit.

They didn’t notice the strange spots of greenish-purple that would appear in the sky. Spots that could be covered by clouds, and would began to fade as they fought less and found moments of kindness towards one another.  But over the last few months and especially over the last week- they couldn’t find but fleeting moments of kindness towards each other.  In fact, they had been SO mean towards each other that there hadn’t been enough time for the strange spots to shrink back.  The spots were growing at such a rapid rate that in only a matter of a few minutes a brief fight over the color of the cereal bowls to be used at breakfast that morning, had covered 1/4th of the sky purplish-green and by early afternoon the whole sky was almost completely purplish-green and greenish-purple, leading us right to where we were at the beginning of this story.

Dadorilla, looking out the window, realized what had happened and he know. He looked at Mace and  Bella with fear.

“STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” he yelled over their squalor. “MOMKEE- QUICK! GET UP HERE!” He yelled down at Momkee who was cooking in the kitchen.

Momkee could barely hear him calling her and as she paused to hear exactly what he was saying, she caught a glimpse out the kitchen window. Her eyes grew large at the sight of the dark purplish-greenish sky.  The moaning giggles she previously thought were Mace and Bella were something bad.  And she knew what that “bad” was.

Momkee ran upstairs only to have her fears realized. IT was coming for her Macertang and Bellarilla. They only had but moments to fix this or it would change the course of their lives as they knew it.

“Stop fighting! You HAVE to STOP!!” She screamed over the noise of the bickering siblings and moaning giggles getting closer in a voice of choked fear.

Bellarilla and Macertang stopped their bickering and looked at the pale and worried faces of their parents.

“Your fighting and meanness towards one another has called the HOWLER ZOMBKEYS!!!” They are drawn to the calls of sibling rivalry and they thrive on taking the rest of the happiness out of you to keep themselves happy and energized! The meaner you are, the faster their herd grows and the stronger they become. Your behaviour gives them the strength to breakthrough to our world from that of the naughty jungle where the live and thrive off of the happiness they take from here!! They come for those naughty monkeys that have called them- THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU!!!” Momkee and Dadorilla explained as calmly and quickly as they could.

Bellarilla and Macertang looked angrily at one another, each ready to blame the other for breaking the howler zombkeys free to their home. As they did the words of their parents echoed in their heads and they stopped. Fists unclenching, eyes growing wide and scared. In unison they cried to their parents, ” What can we do?! How can we stop them from coming?!”

Their parents sighed, and voices wavering they said “We can only tell you this riddle, it is up to you to figure it out and hopefully fix this.”

Together the parents recited:

“To get rid of howler zombkeys

Quickly do nice things,

that brings smiles and understanding

doing nothing under-handing

a true show of love, patience

kindness and helpfulness

from sibling monkey to sibling monkey”

It was a riddle without much rhyme, but it was what it was. Knowing that the kids has to figure it out themselves, Dadorilla left them with one more thought to propel them to move quickly, “You need to know, we’d do anything in the world for you both and we love you with all our hearts.  You really need to hurry quick because the zombkeys WILL come if you don’t. And they will take away all of the parts of you that allow you to enjoy anything fun and your enjoyment of the treats in life. You won’t enjoy playing, you won’t enjoy sweets or favorite foods, you will try and try to get those feelings you remember- but they won’t come and your craving for them will grow and consume you.”

Mace and Bella’s eyes got HUGE and they gasped. the idea of not being able to have fun and enjoy treats was too horrible!

Momkee and Dadorilla made their way down the stairs. Both knowing their little monkeys were smart and good-hearted. They could and did have the abilities to figure it out.

Bella looked around Mace’s room and thought to herself “Mace not have fun building things with Gorlegos and playing make-believe with Iron Ape and the Apevengers?” Mace couldn’t imagine his sister not enjoying the fun she had playing dress-up in her Princess marsupial or Apepunzel costumes…and those tea parties she was always having playing with her Tinkorilla cafe.

As they stood looking at all of the things they wouldn’t enjoy any longer, it hit both of them “No more birthday party fun! No more yummy birthday banana cake! No more Halloween fun!?”

“We have to fix this!” They yelled in unison at each other.

Mace thought for a moment and he said to Bella “If our fighting is causing this….” Bella finished his thought “We need to stop fighting, AND we need to really be nice to each other!”

Bella teared up “Mace, I don’t want you to not enjoy banana cake and gorlegos.” Macertang took her hand an smiled at her “I can’t imagine not getting to enjoy your favorite birthday pie…and I’d really miss seeing you dressed up as Princess marsupial!”

The sky was still getting a darker shade of greenish-purple; they could hear the pitter-patter of the howler zombkey feet and the swishing of their zombkey tails steering the herd closer to the little sibling monkeys. As loud as it was, it did seem like it might be slowing…or so the family hoped.

This is as far as I got writing this story before I read it to my kids. I decided that the end should be like a chose your own adventure book- like I read when I was a kid. Also, they quickly got that this story was about them…and that I was making a statement about their behaviour towards each other.

I asked them the following questions to help guide the end of the story:

What should Bellarilla and Macertang do to try to make the zombkeys slow down even more?

Do you think that the zombkeys are going to reach Mace and Bella? If they do, do you think they will lose all the ability to enjoy fun and treats?

How long do you think it will be before they get that herd to fully return back to the naughty jungle and have the sky turn back to normal?

Here is the ending that they helped to write:

Macertang looked at Bellarilla and told her “I’m sorry that I’ve been so mean to you. I really do love you and I get mad sometimes because you don’t want to play my games with me and sometimes you don’t invite me to play with you. I will try to help you more than I have been and stop tattling on you.”

Bellarilla looked at Macertang, her eyes welling with tears “I’m sorry I tattled on you and told mom and dad that you hit me when I really hit you- and I’m sorry I hit you. I don’t like it when you tell me I can’t do things because I’m small, I try to be big like you but you tell me I can’t play things with you and your friends when they are over, and you don’t hug me back or say goodnight to me sometimes. I won’t tattle on you, hit you, and not play with you.”

As Bellarilla was finishing her last sentence, the deafening noise had all but stopped. All that could be heard was the swishing of confused zombkey tails.

Together they looked out the windows and saw that the zombkeys were on the lawn looking around. The zombkeys looked miserable…there was no joy in their eyes.

Macertang looked back behind him at the mountain of toys…and he felt it…he felt the joy he got from his toys began to slip from his heart. “Bella, I think we might be too late” he whispered. Tears flowing down Bella’s face as she felt it too.

“Mace, I’ll help you clean your room so you don’t have to look at all of your toys.” Bella offered as she bent down and grabbed a handful of Gorlegos and began to sort them out of the other toys.

“Thanks Bella, I’ll help you clean your room too…”

The noise outside had completely stopped…

Mace and Bella began working on Mace’s room in silence, except to ask or direct where something should go. They worked as a team for hours as the noise on the lawn stayed paused and the sky stayed dark. They paused occasionally to look out the window to see what was going on with the zombkeys. They were still there, waiting to see if the siblings would stay friendly with each other.

It went on like this for weeks until the sky was back to normal. Mace and Bella getting along, playing nicely and remembering to tell each other that they loved each other. The loss of enjoyment not fully gone- a reminder of what could be should they slip back to their old habits.

Dadorilla and Momkee felt an amazing sense of peace and encouraged them to keep it up. Able to focus on other lessons their little monkeys needed to learn.

They weren’t perfect all the time and through the years of growing up, whenever they saw the spots in the sky or even worse, heard the moaning giggles…they knew what they needed to do and they worked hard to get back on track. They helped guide their friends who started to bring on the howler zombkeys back on the track of sibling love.  All in all, they turned out to be great people- an inventor and a dancing princess, and happy as could be- which is all their parents wanted for them in the world.

The end

It’s Always Something and today…it’s me…

•December 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Author’s Note: written- 12 Oct 2011…didn’t realize it hadn’t posted and posted it: 10 Dec 2011

I love to write and often feel the urge to write to work through things- good…bad..random…

The mood to write is always at some odd time of the day…laying in bed, can’t sleep…and then the urge hits. I’ve been lousy about actually just getting up and writing- and then when I decide OK- now I’m going to write what I was thinking about…I can’t remember and I get a case of writer’s block. It’s always something..

Why “it’s always something?” …That line means so much to me…and it’s not always a bad thing. It was made popular by the late (and amazingly great!) Gilda Radner. It’s the name of the book she wrote that I’ve read at least 15 times in the course of my life- starting when I was around 15. Gilda was the picture of everything I could identify with as a kid. She was open and honest w who she was. She was slightly neurotic and spazzy. She had a killer sense of humor and is to this day- my favorite comedian. I miss her like I knew her. She was just a normal woman who wasn’t the ‘prettiest,’ ‘smartest,’ ‘most normal’…and neither was I….nor have I grown up to be…and she used humor to get through some of the most unfunny situations in life and inspired me to battle through my minor trials and tribulations.

I find myself in my mid-thirties, full time working mother of two (boy- 8, girl- 5) and in an increasingly ‘complicated’ relationship w the father of my kids/ husband.

I’ve found myself in an odd seperation situation derived thanks to an awesome economy. But stranger than that are the feelings I have on the whole thing…I think. For the last 3 years we’ve been in this limbo state, being done with something that I haven’t legally moved on from.

You see..from most outward appearances- we seemed to be a couple who should thrive…even still as we are done- we rarely fight, we seemingly get along…but….I’ve moved on, and yet I sometimes struggle with my guilt over wanting to end something that everyone else says ‘looks good.’ Looking isn’t feeling…and I didn’t feel good trying to be something I’m not.

I do love him- I recognize that he is a great guy, But we are not ‘in’ love. We innately have different needs from a romantic relationship. I require a relationship with the space to be my own person and to feel appreciated for who I am, not who I pretend to be….he requires constant companionship…to the point of being dependent on me for…everything and wants who I’ve pretended to be- because he doesn’t want to change…

We were in limbo- seperated but not moving forward for years. We finally admitted we need to take a step. So we did- we are working to divorce as amicably as is possible and I feel free and inspired…moving in the right direction.

I want my kids to learn happiness from our example. I want them to see us happy. I struggle because I know that divorce is remarkably hard on kids- but as I’ve learned in the last few years- so is living with two people trying really hard to force something that isn’t there. My kids deserve better. We deserve better as people.

Dammit if we didn’t make this decision when the economy is so in the hole…we still need to live together for awhile. Mentally moved on…physically- not.

Sigh…

It’s always something!

A